Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 22 Jul 2011 17:07 and updated at 22 Jul 2011 17:07


vp.1.1 May that Vishnu, who is the existent, imperishable, Brahma, who is Iswara 3, who is spirit 4; who with the three qualities 5 is the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; who is the parent of nature, intellect, and the other ingredients of the universe 6; be to us the bestower of understanding, wealth, and final emancipation.
vp.1.1 Having adored Vishnu 7, the lord of all, and paid reverence to Brahma and the rest 8; having also saluted the spiritual preceptor 9; I will narrate a Purana equal in sanctity to the Vedas.
vp.1.1 Being thus admonished by my venerable grandsire, I immediately desisted from the rite, in obedience to his injunctions, and Vasishtha, the most excellent of sages, was content with me. Then arrived Pulastya, the son of Brahma 13, who was received by my grandfather with the customary marks of respect. The illustrious brother of Pulaha said to me; Since, in the violence of animosity, you have listened to the words of your progenitor, and have exercised clemency, therefore you shall become learned in every science: since you have forborne, even though incensed, to destroy my posterity, I will bestow upon you another boon, and, you shall become the author of a summary of the Puranas 14; you shall know
vp.1.2 Prayer of Parasara to Vishnu. Successive narration of the Vishnu Purana. Explanation of Vasudeva: his existence before creation: his first manifestations. Description of Pradhana or the chief principle of things. Cosmogony. Of Prakrita, or material creation; of time; of the active cause. Developement of effects; Mahat; Ahankara; Tanmatras; elements; objects of sense; senses; of the mundane egg. Vishnu the same as Brahma the creator; Vishnu the preserver; Rudra the destroyer.
vp.1.2 destroyer, and lord of creation and preservation; the ruler of the world; unborn, imperishable, undecaying: I will relate to you that which was originally imparted by the great father of all Brahma(), in answer to the questions of Daksha and other venerable sages, and repeated by them to Purukutsa, a king who reigned on the banks of the Narmada. It was next related by him to Saraswata, and by Saraswata to me 9.
vp.1.2 Who can describe him who is not to be apprehended by the senses: who is the best of all things; the supreme soul, self existent: who is devoid of all the distinguishing characteristics of complexion, caste, or the like; and is exempt front birth, vicissitude, death, or decay: who is always, and alone: who exists every where, and in whom all things here exist; and who is thence named Vasudeva 10? He is Brahma 11, supreme, lord, eternal, unborn, imperishable, undecaying; of one essence; ever pure as free from defects. He, that Brahma, was all things; comprehending in his own nature the indiscrete and discrete. He then existed in the forms of Purusha and of Kala. Purusha (spirit) is the first form, of the supreme; next proceeded two other forms, the discrete and indiscrete; and Kala (time) was the last. These four Pradhana (primary or crude matter), Purusha (spirit), Vyakta (visible substance), and Kala (time) the wise consider to be the pure and supreme condition of Vishnu 12. These four forms, in their due proportions, are the causes of
vp.1.2 passages as the following as intending the production of the chief principle Pradhana(). "There was neither day nor night, nor sky nor earth, nor darkness nor light, nor any other thing, save only One, unapprehensible by intellect, or That which is Brahma and Puman (spirit) and Pradhana (matter) 16." The two forms which are other than the essence of unmodified Vishnu, are Pradhana (matter) and Purusha (spirit); and his other form, by which those two are connected or separated, is called Kala (time) 17. When discrete substance is aggregated in crude nature, as in a foregone dissolution, that dissolution is termed elemental Prakrita(). The deity as Time is without beginning, and his end is not known; and from him the revolutions of creation, continuance, and dissolution unintermittingly succeed: for when, in the latter season, the equilibrium of the qualities Pradhana() exists, and spirit Puman() is detached from matter, then the form of Vishnu which is Time abides 18. Then the
vp.1.2 supreme Brahma, the supreme soul, the substance of the world, the lord of all creatures, the universal soul, the supreme ruler, Hari, of his own will having entered into matter and spirit, agitated the mutable and immutable principles, the season of creation being arrived, in the same manner as fragrance affects the mind from its proximity merely, and not from any immediate operation upon mind itself: so the Supreme influenced the elements of creation 19. Purushottama is both the agitator and
vp.1.2 the thing to be agitated; being present in the essence of matter, both when it is contracted and expanded 20. Vishnu, supreme over the supreme, is of the nature of discrete forms in the atomic productions, Brahma and the rest (gods, men, &c.)
vp.1.2 excellent natural abode of Vishnu in the form of Brahma; and there Vishnu, the lord of the universe, whose essence is inscrutable, assumed a perceptible form, and even he himself abided in it in the character of Brahma 31. Its womb, vast as the mountain Meru, was composed of the mountains; and the mighty oceans were the waters that filled its cavity. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons, and mankind. And this egg was externally invested by seven natural envelopes, or by water, air, fire, ether, and Ahankara the origin of the elements, each tenfold the extent of that which it invested; next came the principle of Intelligence; and, finally, the whole was surrounded by the indiscrete Principle: resembling thus the cocoa nut, filled interiorly with pulp, and exteriorly covered by husk and rind.
vp.1.2 Affecting then the quality of activity, Hari, the lord of all, himself becoming Brahma, engaged in the creation of the universe. Vishnu with the quality of goodness, and of immeasurable power, preserves created things through successive ages, until the close of the period termed a Kalpa; when the same mighty deity, Janarddana 32, invested with the quality of darkness, assumes the awful form of Rudra, and swallows up the universe. Having thus devoured all things, and converted the world into one vast ocean, the Supreme reposes upon his mighty serpent couch amidst the deep: he awakes after a season, and again, as Brahma, becomes the author of creation.
vp.1.2 Thus the one only god, Janarddana, takes the designation of Brahma, Vishnu, and siva, accordingly as he creates, preserves, or destroys 33.
vp.1.2 [paragraph continues] Vishnu as creator, creates himself; as preserver, preserves himself; as destroyer, destroys himself at the end of all things. This world of earth, air, fire, water, ether, the senses, and the mind; all that is termed spirit 34, that also is the lord of all elements, the universal form, and imperishable: hence he is the cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; and the subject of the vicissitudes inherent in elementary nature 35. He is the object and author of creation: he preserves, destroys, and is preserved. He, Vishnu, as Brahma, and as all other beings, is infinite form: he is the supreme, the giver of all good, the fountain of all happiness 36.
vp.1.3 Measure of time. Moments or Kashthas, &c.; day and night; fortnight, month, year, divine year: Yugas, or ages: Mahayuga, or great age: day of Brahma: periods of the Manus: a Manwantara: night of Brahma, and destruction of the world: a year of Brahma: his life: a Kalpa: a Pararrdha: the past, or Padma Kalpa: the present, or Varaha.
vp.1.3 Maitreya. How can creative agency be attributed to that Brahma, who is without qualities, illimitable, pure, and free from imperfection?
vp.1.3 Parasara. The essential properties of existent things are objects of observation, of which no foreknowledge is attainable; and creation, and hundreds of properties, belong to Brahma, as inseparable parts of his essence, as heat, oh chief of sages, is inherent in fire 1. Hear then how
vp.1.3 the deity Narayana, in the person of Brahma, the great parent of the world, created all existent things.
vp.1.3 Brahma is said to be born: a familiar phrase, to signify his manifestation; and, as the peculiar measure of his presence, a hundred of his years is said to constitute his life: that period is also called Param, and the half of it, Pararddham 2. I have already declared to you, oh sinless Brahman, that Time is a form of Vishnu: hear now how it is applied to measure the duration of Brahma, and of all other sentient beings, as well as of those which are unconscious, as the mountains, oceans, and the like.
vp.1.3 constitute a day and night of mortals: thirty such days make a month, divided into two half months: six months form an Ayana (the period of the sun s progress north or south of the ecliptic): and two Ayanas compose a year. The southern Ayana is a night, and the northern a day of the gods. Twelve thousand divine years, each composed of (three hundred and sixty) such days, constitute the period of the four Yugas, or ages. They are thus distributed: the Krita age has four thousand divine years; the Treta three thousand; the Dwapara two thousand; and the Kali age one thousand: so those acquainted with antiquity have declared. The period that precedes a Yuga is called a Sandhya, and it is of as many hundred years as there are thousands in the Yuga: and the period that follows a Yuga, termed the Sandhyansa, is of similar duration. The interval between the Sandhya and the Sandhyansa is the Yuga, denominated Krita, Treta, &c. The Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali, constitute a great age, or aggregate of four ages: a thousand such aggregates are a day of Brahma, and fourteen Manus reign within that term. Hear the division of time which they measure 4.
vp.1.3 a Brahma day, that is, a day of Brahma; the term Brahma() being the derivative form. At the end of this day a dissolution of the universe occurs, when all the three worlds, earth, and the regions of space, are consumed with fire. The dwellers of Maharloka (the region inhabited by the saints who survive the world), distressed by the heat, repair then to Janaloka (the region of holy men after their decease). When the three worlds are but one mighty ocean, Brahma, who is one with Narayana, satiate with the demolition of the universe, sleeps upon his serpent bed contemplated, the lotus born, by the ascetic inhabitants of the Janaloka for a night of equal duration with his day; at the close of which he creates anew. Of such days and nights is a year of Brahma composed; and a hundred such years constitute his whole life 7. One Pararddha 8, or half his existence, has expired, terminating with the Maha Kalpa 9 called Padma. The Kalpa (or day of Brahma) termed Varaha is the first of the second period of Brahma s existence.
vp.1.4 Maitreya. Tell me, mighty sage, how, in the commencement of the (present) Kalpa, Narayana, who is named Brahma, created all existent things 1.
vp.1.4 Parasara. In what manner the divine Brahma, who is one with Narayana, created progeny, and is thence named the lord of progeny Prajapati(), the lord god, you shall hear.
vp.1.4 At the close of the past (or Padma) Kalpa, the divine Brahma, endowed with the quality of goodness, awoke from his night of sleep, and beheld the universe void. He, the supreme Narayana, the incomprehensible, the sovereign of all creatures, invested with the form of Brahma, the god without beginning, the creator of all things; of whom, with respect to his name Narayana, the god who has the form of Brahma, the imperishable origin of the world, this verse is repeated, "The waters are called Nara, because they were the offspring of Nara (the supreme spirit); and as in them his first Ayana() progress (in the character of Brahma) took place, he is thence named Narayana (he whose place of moving was the waters) 2." He, the lord, concluding that within the waters lay the
vp.1.4 Prithivi Earth(). Hail to thee, who art all creatures; to thee, the holder of the mace and shell: elevate me now from this place, as thou hast upraised me in days of old. From thee have I proceeded; of thee do I consist; as do the skies, and all other existing things. Hail to thee, spirit of the supreme spirit; to thee, soul of soul; to thee, who art discrete and indiscrete matter; who art one with the elements and with time. Thou art the creator of all things, their preserver, and their destroyer, in the forms, oh lord, of Brahma, Vishnu, and Rudra, at the seasons of creation, duration, and dissolution. When thou hast devoured all things, thou reposest on the ocean that sweeps over the world, meditated upon, oh Govinda, by the wise. No one knoweth thy true nature, and the gods adore thee only in the forms it bath pleased thee to assume. They who are desirous of final liberation, worship thee as the supreme Brahma; and who that adores not Vasudeva, shall obtain emancipation? Whatever may be apprehended by the mind, whatever may be perceived by the senses, whatever may he discerned by the intellect, all is but a form of thee. I am of thee, upheld by thee; thou art my creator, and to thee I fly for refuge: hence, in this universe, Madhavi (the bride of Madhava or Vishnu) is my designation. Triumph to the essence of all wisdom, to the unchangeable, the imperishable: triumph to the eternal; to the indiscrete, to the essence of discrete things: to him who is both cause and
vp.1.4 The Yogis. Triumph, lord of lords supreme; Kesava, sovereign of the earth, the wielder of the mace, the shell, the discus, and the sword: cause of production, destruction, and existence. Thou Art, oh god: there is no other supreme condition, but thou. Thou, lord, art the person of sacrifice: for thy feet are the Vedas; thy tusks are the stake to which the victim is bound; in thy teeth are the offerings; thy mouth is the altar; thy tongue is the fire; and the hairs of thy body are the sacrificial grass. Thine eyes, oh omnipotent, are day and night; thy head is the seat of all, the place of Brahma; thy mane is all the hymns of the Vedas; thy nostrils are all oblations: oh thou, whose snout is the ladle of oblation; whose deep voice is the chanting of the Sama veda; whose body is the hall of sacrifice; whose joints are the different ceremonies; and whose ears have the properties of both voluntary and obligatory rites 7: do thou, who art eternal, who art in size a mountain, be propitious. We acknowledge thee, who hast traversed the world, oh universal form, to be the beginning, the continuance, and the destruction of all things: thou art the supreme god. Have pity on us, oh lord of conscious and unconscious beings. The orb of the earth is seen seated on the tip of thy tusks, as if thou hadst been sporting amidst a lake where the lotus floats, and hadst borne away the leaves covered with soil. The space between heaven and earth is occupied by thy body, oh thou of unequalled
vp.1.4 Parasara. The supreme being thus eulogized, upholding the earth, raised it quickly, and placed it on the summit of the ocean, where it floats like a mighty vessel, and from its expansive surface does not sink beneath the waters. Then, having levelled the earth, the great eternal deity divided it into portions, by mountains: he who never wills in vain, created, by his irresistible power, those mountains again upon the earth which had been consumed at the destruction of the world. Having then divided the earth into seven great portions or continents, as it was before, he constructed in like manner the four (lower) spheres, earth, sky, heaven, and the sphere of the sages Maharloka(). Thus Hari, the four faced god, invested with the quality of activity, and taking the form of Brahma, accomplished the creation: but he Brahma() is only the instrumental cause of things to be created; the things that are capable of being created arise from nature as a common material cause: with exception of one instrumental cause alone, there is no need of any other cause, for (imperceptible) substance becomes perceptible substance according to the powers with which it is originally imbued.
vp.1.5 Vishnu as Brahma creates the world. General characteristics of creation. Brahma meditates, and gives origin to, immovable things, animals, gods, men. Specific creation of nine kinds; Mahat, Tanmatra, Aindriya, inanimate objects, animals, gods, men, Anugraha, and Kaumara. More particular account of creation. Origin of different orders of beings from Brahma s body under different conditions; and of the Vedas from his mouths. All things created again as they existed in a former Kalpa.
vp.1.5 Maitreya. Now unfold to me, Brahman, how this deity created the gods, sages, progenitors, demons, men, animals, trees, and the rest, that abide on earth, in heaven, or in the waters: how Brahma at creation made the world with the qualities, the characteristics, and the forms of things 1.
vp.1.5 Whilst he Brahma() formerly, in the beginning of the Kalpas, was. meditating on creation, there appeared a creation beginning with ignorance, and consisting of darkness. From that great being appeared fivefold Ignorance, consisting of obscurity, illusion, extreme illusion, gloom, utter darkness 2. The creation of the creator thus plunged in
vp.1.5 abstraction, was the fivefold (immovable) world, without intellect or reflection, void of perception or sensation, incapable of feeling, and destitute of motion 3. Since immovable things were first created, this is called the first creation. Brahma, beholding that it was defective, designed another; and whilst he thus meditated, the animal creation was manifested, to the products of which the term Tiryaksrotas is applied, from their nutriment following a winding course 4. These were called beasts, &c., and their characteristic was the quality of darkness, they being destitute of knowledge, uncontrolled in their conduct, and mistaking error for wisdom; being formed of egotism and self esteem, labouring under the twenty eight kinds of imperfection 5, manifesting inward sensations, and associating with each other (according to their kinds).
vp.1.5 Beholding this creation also imperfect, Brahma again meditated, and a third creation appeared, abounding with the quality of goodness, termed Urddhasrotas 6. The beings thus produced in the Urddhasrotas creation were endowed with pleasure and enjoyment, unencumbered internally or externally, and luminous within and without. This, termed the creation of immortals, was the third performance of Brahma, who, although well pleased with it, still found it incompetent to fulfil his end. Continuing therefore his meditations, there sprang, in consequence of his infallible purpose, the creation termed Arvaksrotas, from indiscrete nature. The products of this are termed Arvaksrotasas 7, from the downward current (of their nutriment). They abound with the light of knowledge, but the qualities of darkness and of foulness predominate. Hence they are afflicted by evil, and are repeatedly impelled to action. They have knowledge both externally and internally, and are the instruments (of accomplishing the object of creation, the liberation of soul). These creatures were mankind.
vp.1.5 I have thus explained to you, excellent Muni, six 8 creations. The first creation was that of Mahat or Intellect, which is also called the creation of Brahma 9. The second was that of the rudimental principles Tanmatras(), thence termed the elemental creation Bhuta( serga). The third was the modified form of egotism, termed the organic creation, or creation of the senses Aindriyaka(). These three were the Prakrita creations, the developements of indiscrete nature, preceded by the indiscrete
vp.1.5 Parasara. Created beings, although they are destroyed (in their individual forms) at the periods of dissolution, yet, being affected by the good or evil acts of former existence, they are never exempted from their consequences; and when Brahma creates the world anew, they are the progeny of his will, in the fourfold condition of gods, men, animals, or inanimate things. Brahma then, being desirous of creating the four orders of beings, termed gods, demons, progenitors, and men, collected his mind into itself 14. Whilst thus concentrated, the quality of darkness
vp.1.5 pervaded his body; and thence the demons (the Asuras) were first born, issuing from his thigh. Brahma then abandoned that form which was, composed of the rudiment of darkness, and which, being deserted by him, became night. Continuing to create, but assuming a different. shape, he experienced pleasure; and thence from his mouth proceeded the gods, endowed with the quality of goodness. The form abandoned by him, became day, in which the good quality predominates; and hence by day the gods are most powerful, and by night the demons. He next adopted another person, in which the rudiment of goodness also prevailed; and thinking of himself, as the father of the world, the progenitors (the Pitris) were born from his side. The body, when he abandoned, it, became the Sandhya (or evening twilight), the interval between day and night. Brahma then assumed another person, pervaded by the quality of foulness; and from this, men, in whom foulness (or passion) predominates, were produced. Quickly abandoning that body, it became morning twilight, or the dawn. At the appearance of this light of day, men feel most vigour; while the progenitors are most powerful in the evening season. In this manner, Maitreya, Jyotsna (dawn), Ratri (night), Ahar (day), and Sandhya (evening), are the four bodies of Brahma invested by the three qualities 15.
vp.1.5 Next from Brahma, in a form composed of the quality of foulness, was produced hunger, of whom anger was born: and the god put forth in darkness beings emaciate with hunger, of hideous aspects, and with long beards. Those beings hastened to the deity. Such of them as exclaimed, Oh preserve us! were thence called Rakshasas 16: others, who cried out, Let us eat, were denominated from that expression Yakshas 17. Beholding them so disgusting, the hairs of Brahma were shrivelled up, and first falling from his head, were again renewed upon it: from their falling they became serpents, called Sarpa from their creeping, and Ahi because they had deserted the head 18. The creator of the world, being incensed, then created fierce beings, who were denominated goblins, Bhutas, malignant fiends and eaters of flesh. The Gandharbas were next born, imbibing melody: drinking of the goddess of speech, they were born, and thence their appellation 19.
vp.1.5 The divine Brahma, influenced by their material energies, having created these beings, made others of his own will. Birds he formed from his vital vigour; sheep from his breast; goats from his mouth; kine from his belly and sides; and horses, elephants, Sarabhas, Gayals, deer, camels, mules, antelopes, and other animals, from his feet: whilst from the hairs of his body sprang herbs, roots, and fruits.
vp.1.5 Brahma having created, in the commencement of the Kalpa, various plants, employed them in sacrifices, in the beginning of the Treta age. Animals were distinguished into two classes, domestic (village) and wild (forest): the first class contained the cow, the goat, the hog, the sheep, the horse, the ass, the mule: the latter, all beasts of prey, and many animals with cloven hoofs, the elephant, and the monkey. The fifth order were the birds; the sixth, aquatic animals; and the seventh, reptiles and insects 20.
vp.1.5 From his eastern mouth Brahma then created the Gayatri metre, the Rig veda, the collection of hymns termed Trivrit, the Rathantara portion of the Sama veda, and the Agnishtoma sacrifice: from his southern mouth he created the Yajur veda, the Trishtubh metre, the collection of hymns called Panchadasa, the Vrihat Sama, and the portion of the Sama veda termed Uktha: from his western mouth he created the Sama veda, the Jayati metre, the collection of hymns termed Saptadasa, the portion of the Sama called Vairupa, and the Atiratra sacrifice: and from his northern mouth he created the Ekavinsa collection of hymns, the Atharva veda, the aptoryama rite, the Anushtubh metre, and the Vairaja portion of the Sama veda 21.
vp.1.5 bodies) and Kinnaras (beings with the heads of horses), Rakshasas, birds, beasts, deer, serpents, and all things permanent or transitory, movable or immovable. This did the divine Brahma, the first creator and lord of all: and these things being created, discharged the same functions as they had fulfilled in a previous creation, whether malignant or benign, gentle or cruel, good or evil, true or false; and accordingly as they are actuated by such propensities will be their conduct.
vp.1.5 And the creator displayed infinite variety in the objects of sense, in the properties of living things, and in the forms of bodies: he determined in the beginning, by the authority of the Vedas, the names and forms and functions of all creatures, and of the gods; and the names and appropriate offices of the Rishis, as they also are read in the Vedas. In like manner as the products of the seasons designate in periodical revolution the return of the same season, so do the same circumstances indicate the recurrence of the same Yuga, or age; and thus, in the beginning of each Kalpa, does Brahma repeatedly create the world, possessing the power that is derived from the will to create, and assisted by the natural and essential faculty of the object to be created.
vp.1.6 Maitreya. Thou hast briefly noticed, illustrious sage, the creation termed Arvaksrotas, or that of mankind: now explain to me more fully how Brahma accomplished it; how he created the four different castes; what duties he assigned to the Brahmans and the rest 1.
vp.1.6 Parasara. Formerly, oh best of Brahmans, when the truth meditating Brahma was desirous of creating the world, there sprang from his mouth beings especially endowed with the quality of goodness; others from his breast, pervaded by the quality of foulness; others from his thighs, in whom foulness and darkness prevailed; and others from his feet, in whom the quality of darkness predominated. These were, in succession, beings of the several castes, Brahmans, Kshetriyas, Vaisyas, and sudras, produced from the mouth, the breast, the thighs, and the feet of Brahma 2. These he created for the performance of sacrifices, the four castes being the fit instruments of their celebration. By sacrifices, oh thou who knowest the truth, the gods are nourished; and by the rain which they bestow, mankind are supported 3: and thus sacrifices, the source of happiness, are performed by pious men, attached to their duties, attentive to prescribed obligations, and walking in the paths of virtue. Men acquire (by them) heavenly fruition, or final felicity: they go, after death, to whatever sphere they aspire to, as the consequence of their human
vp.1.6 nature. The beings who were created by Brahma, of these four castes, were at first endowed with righteousness and perfect faith; they abode wherever they pleased, unchecked by any impediment; their hearts were free from guile; they were pure, made free from soil, by observance of sacred institutes. In their sanctified minds Hari dwelt; and they were filled with perfect wisdom, by which they contemplated the glory of Vishnu 4. After a while (after the Treta age had continued for some period), that portion of Hari which has been described as one with Kala (time) infused into created beings sin, as yet feeble though formidable, or passion and the like: the impediment of soul s liberation, the seed of iniquity, sprung from darkness and desire. The innate perfectness of human nature was then no more evolved: the eight kinds of perfection, Rasollasa and the rest, were impaired 5; and these being enfeebled, and sin gaining strength, mortals were afflicted with pain, arising from susceptibility to contrasts, as heat and cold, and the like. They therefore constructed places of refuge, protected by trees, by mountains, or by water; surrounded them by a ditch or a wall, and formed villages and cities; and in them erected appropriate dwellings, as defences against the sun and the cold 6. Having thus provided security against
vp.1.6 The means of subsistence having been provided for the beings he had created, Brahma prescribed laws suited to their station and faculties, the duties of the several castes and orders 9, and the regions of those of the different castes who were observant of their duties. The heaven of the Pitris is the region of devout Brahmans. The sphere of Indra, of
vp.1.6 [paragraph continues] Kshetriyas who fly not from the field. The region of the winds is assigned to the Vaisyas who are diligent in their occupations and submissive. sudras are elevated to the sphere of the Gandharbas. Those Brahmans who lead religious lives go to the world of the eighty eight thousand saints: and that of the seven Rishis is the seat of pious anchorets and hermits. The world of ancestors is that of respectable householders: and the region of Brahma is the asylum of religious mendicants 10. The imperishable region of the Yogis is the highest seat of Vishnu, where they perpetually meditate upon the supreme being, with minds intent on him alone: the sphere where they reside, the gods themselves cannot behold. The sun, the moon, the planets, shall repeatedly be, and cease to be; but those who internally repeat the mystic adoration of the divinity, shall never know decay. For those who neglect their duties, who revile the Vedas, and obstruct religious rites, the places assigned after death are the terrific regions of darkness, of deep gloom, of fear, and of great terror; the fearful hell of sharp swords, the hell of scourges and of a waveless sea.
vp.1.7 Creation continued. Production of the mind born sons of Brahma; of the Prajapatis; of Sanandana and others; of Rudra and the eleven Rudras; of the Manu Swayambhuva, and his wife satarupa; of their children. The daughters of Daksha, and their marriage to Dharma and others. The progeny of Disarms and Adharma. The perpetual succession of worlds, and different modes of mundane dissolution.
vp.1.7 Parasara. From Brahma, continuing to meditate, were born mind engendered progeny, with forms and faculties derived from his corporeal nature; embodied spirits, produced from the person of that all wise deity. All these beings, front the gods to inanimate things, appeared as I have related to you 1, being the abode of the three qualities: but as they did not multiply themselves, Brahma created other mind born sons, like himself; namely, Bhrigu, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Angiras, Marichi, Daksha, Atri, and Vasishtha: these are the nine Brahmas (or Brahma rishis) celebrated in the Puranas 2. Sanandana and the other sons of
vp.1.7 [paragraph continues] Brahma were previously created by him, but they were without desire or passion, inspired with holy wisdom, estranged from the universe, and undesirous of progeny. This when Brahma perceived, he was filled with wrath capable of consuming the three worlds, the flame of which invested, like a garland, heaven, earth, and hell. Then from his forehead,
vp.1.7 darkened with angry frowns, sprang Rudra 3, radiant as the noon tide sun, fierce, and of vast bulk, and of a figure which was half male, half female. Separate yourself, Brahma said to him; and having so spoken, disappeared. Obedient to which command, Rudra became twofold, disjoining his male and female natures. His male being he again divided into eleven persons, of whom some were agreeable, some hideous, some fierce, some mild; and he multiplied his female nature manifold, of complexions black or white 4.
vp.1.7 Then Brahma 5 created himself the Manu Swayambhuva, born of, and identical with, his original self, for the protection of created beings; and the female portion of himself he constituted satarupa, whom austerity
vp.1.7 termed the Brahma dissolution, occurs when the sovereign of the world reclines in sleep. In the second, the mundane egg resolves into the primary element, from whence it was derived. Absolute non existence of the world is the absorption of the sage, through knowledge, into supreme spirit. Perpetual destruction is the constant disappearance, day and night, of all that are born. The productions of Prakriti form the creation that is termed the elemental Prakrita(). That which ensues after a (minor) dissolution is called ephemeral creation: and the daily generation of living things is termed, by those who are versed in the Puranas, constant creation. In this manner the mighty Vishnu, whose essence is the elements, abides in all bodies, and brings about production, existence, and dissolution. The faculties of Vishnu to create, to preserve, and to destroy, operate successively, Maitreya, in all corporeal beings and at all seasons; and he who frees himself from the influence of these three faculties, which are essentially composed of the three qualities (goodness, foulness, and darkness), goes to the supreme sphere, from whence he never again returns.
vp.1.8 Parasara. I have described to you, oh great Muni, the creation of Brahma, in which the quality of darkness prevailed. I will now explain to you the creation of Rudra 1.
vp.1.8 In the beginning of the Kalpa, as Brahma purposed to create a son, who should be like himself, a youth of a purple complexion 2 appeared, crying with a low cry, and running about 3. Brahma, when he beheld him thus afflicted, said to him, "Why dost thou weep?" "Give me a name," replied the boy. Rudra" be thy name," rejoined the great father of all creatures: "be composed; desist from tears." But, thus addressed, the boy still wept seven times, and Brahma therefore gave to him seven other denominations; and to these eight persons regions and wives and posterity belong. The eight manifestations, then, are named Rudra, Bhava, sarva, Isana, Pasupati, Bhima, Ugra, and Mahadeva, which were given to them by their great progenitor. He also assigned to them their respective stations, the sun, water, earth, air, fire, ether, the ministrant Brahman, and the moon; for these are their several forms 4. The wives
vp.1.8 surrounded by the singers and nymphs of heaven, and by numerous sages, beneath the shade of clustering trees and climbing plants; and all of them, whether dwellers on earth, in air, or in the regions above the skies, approached the patriarch with outward gestures of respect. The adityas, Vasus, Rudras, Maruts, all entitled to partake of the oblations, together with Jishnu, were present. The four classes of Pitris, Ushmapas, Somapas, ajyapas, and Dhumapas, or those who feed upon the flame, the acid juice, the butter, or the smoke of offerings, the Aswins and the progenitors, came along with Brahma. Creatures of every class, born from the womb, the egg, from vapour, or vegetation, came upon their invocation; as did all the gods, with their brides, who in their resplendent vehicles blazed like so many fires. Beholding them thus assembled, the sage Dadhicha was filled with indignation, and observed, The man who worships what ought not to be worshipped, or pays not reverence where veneration is due, is guilty, most assuredly, of heinous sin. Then addressing Daksha, he said to him, Why do you not offer homage to the god who is the lord of life Pasubhartri()? Daksha spake; I have already many Rudras present, armed with tridents, wearing braided hair, and existing in eleven forms: I recognise no other Mahadeva. Dadhicha spake; The invocation that is not addressed to Isa, is, for all, but a solitary (and imperfect) summons. Inasmuch as I behold no other divinity who is
vp.1.8 divine Yajna, the lord of sacrifice, then began to fly up to heaven, in the shape of a deer; and Virabhadra, of immeasurable spirit, apprehending his power, cut off his vast head, after he had mounted into the sky 7. Daksha the patriarch, his sacrifice being destroyed, overcome with terror, and utterly broken in spirit, fell then upon the ground, where his head was spurned by the feet of the cruel Virabhadra 8. The thirty scores of sacred divinities were all presently bound, with a band of fire, by their lion like foe; and they all then addressed him, crying, Oh Rudra, have mercy upon thy servants: oh lord, dismiss thine anger. Thus spake Brahma and the other gods, and the patriarch Daksha; and raising their hands, they said, Declare, mighty being, who thou art. Virabhadra said, I am not a god, nor an aditya; nor am I come hither for enjoyment, nor curious to behold the chiefs of the divinities: know that I am come to destroy the sacrifice of Daksha, and that I am called Virabhadra, the issue of the wrath of Rudra. Bhadrakali also, who has sprung from the anger of Devi, is sent here by the god of gods to destroy this rite. Take refuge, king of kings, with him who is the lord of Uma; for better is the anger of Rudra than the blessings of other gods.
vp.1.9 The three regions being thus wholly divested of prosperity, and deprived of energy, the Danavas and sons of Diti, the enemies of the gods, who were incapable of steadiness, and agitated by ambition, put forth their strength against the gods. They engaged in war with the feeble and unfortunate divinities; and Indra and the rest, being overcome in fight, fled for refuge to Brahma, preceded by the god of flame Hutasana(). When the great father of the universe had heard all that had come to pass, he said to the deities, "Repair for protection to the god of high and low; the tamer of the demons; the causeless cause of creation, preservation, and destruction; the progenitor of the progenitors; the immortal, unconquerable Vishnu; the cause of matter and spirit, of his unengendered products; the remover of the grief of all who humble themselves before him: he will give you aid." Having thus spoken to the deities, Brahma proceeded along with them to the northern shore of the sea of milk; and with reverential words thus prayed to the supreme Hari:
vp.1.9 rehend; that nature which the Yogis, after incessant effort, effacing both moral merit and demerit, behold to be contemplated in the mystical monosyllable Om: the supreme glory of Vishnu, who is the first of all; of whom, one only god, the triple energy is the same with Brahma, Vishnu, and siva: oh lord of all, great soul of all, asylum of all, undecayable, have pity upon thy servants; oh Vishnu, be manifest unto us."
vp.1.9 Parasara continued. The gods, having heard this prayer uttered by Brahma, bowed down, and cried, "Be favourable to us; be present to our sight: we bow down to that glorious nature which the mighty Brahma does not know; that which is thy nature, oh imperishable, in whom the universe abides." Then the gods having ended, Vrihaspati and the divine Rishis thus prayed: "We bow down to the being entitled to adoration; who is the first object of sacrifice; who was before the first of things; the creator of the creator of the world; the undefinable: oh lord of all that has been or is to be; imperishable type of sacrifice; have pity upon thy worshippers; appear to them, prostrate before thee. Here is Brahma; here is Trilochana (the three eyed siva), with the Rudras; Pusha, (the sun), with the adityas; and Fire, with all the mighty luminaries: here are the sons of Aswini (the two Aswini Kumaras), the Vasus and all the winds, the Sadhyas, the Viswadevas, and Indra the king of the gods: all of whom bow lowly before thee: all the tribes of the immortals, vanquished by the demon host, have fled to thee for succour."
vp.1.9 Thus prayed to, the supreme deity, the mighty holder of the conch and discus, shewed himself to them: and beholding the lord of gods, bearing a shell, a discus, and a mace, the assemblage of primeval form, and radiant with embodied light, Pitamaha and the other deities, their eyes moistened with rapture, first paid him homage, and then thus addressed him: "Repeated salutation to thee, who art indefinable: thou art Brahma; thou art the wielder of the Pinaka bow (siva); thou art Indra; thou art fire, air, the god of waters, the sun, the king of death Yama(), the Vasus, the Maruts (the winds), the Sadhyas, and Viswadevas. This assembly of divinities, that now has come before thee, thou art; for, the creator of the world, thou art every where. Thou art the sacrifice, the prayer of oblation, the mystic syllable Om, the sovereign of all creatures: thou art all that is to be known, or to be unknown: oh universal soul, the whole world consists of thee. We, discomfited by the Daityas, have fled to thee, oh Vishnu, for refuge. Spirit of all, have compassion upon us; defend us with thy mighty power. There will be affliction, desire, trouble, and grief, until thy protection is obtained: but thou art the remover of all sins. Do thou then, oh pure of spirit, shew favour unto
vp.1.9 osperous, wise, and of exalted birth; a hero of irresistible prowess: but all his merits and his advantages are converted into worthlessness from whom, beloved of Vishnu, mother of the world, thou avertest thy face. The tongues of Brahma, are unequal to celebrate thy excellence. Be propitious to me, oh goddess, lotus eyed, and never forsake me more."
vp.1.10 [paragraph continues] Brahma, had, by Swaha, three sons of surpassing brilliancy, Pavaka, Pavamana, and suchi, who drinks up water: they had forty five sons, who, with the original son of Brahma and his three descendants, constitute the forty nine fires 9. The progenitors Pitris(), who, as I have mentioned, were created by Brahma, were the Agnishwattas and Varhishads; the former being devoid of, and the latter possessed of, fires 10. By them, Swadha had two daughters, Mena and Dharani, who were both acquainted with theological truth, and both addicted to religious meditation; both accomplished in perfect wisdom, and adorned with all estimable qualities 11. Thus has been explained the progeny of the
vp.1.11 Dhruva said; "Excellent sages, I wish not for riches, neither do I want dominion: I aspire to such a station as no one before me has attained. Tell me what I must do to effect this object; how I may reach an elevation superior to all other dignities." The Rishis severally thus replied. Marichi said; "The best of stations is not within the reach of men who fail to propitiate Govinda. Do thou, prince, worship the undecaying Achyuta()." Atri said; "He with whom the first of spirits, Janarddana, is pleased, obtains imperishable dignity. I declare unto you the truth." Angiras said; "If you desire an exalted station, worship that Govinda in whom, immutable and undecaying, all that is, exists." Pulastya said; "He who adores the divine Hari, the supreme soul, supreme glory, who is the supreme Brahma, obtains what is difficult of attainment, eternal liberation." "When that Janarddana," observed Kratu, "who in sacrifices is the soul of sacrifice, and who in abstract contemplation is supreme spirit, is pleased, there is nothing man may not acquire." Pulaha said; Indra", having worshipped" the lord of the world, obtained the dignity of king of the celestials. Do thou adore, pious youth, that Vishnu, the lord of sacrifice." "Any thing, child, that the mind covets," exclaimed Vasishtha, "may be obtained by propitiating
vp.1.11 Dhruva replied to them; "You have told me, humbly bending before you, what deity is to be propitiated: now inform me what prayer is to he meditated by me, that will offer him gratification. May the great Rishis, looking upon me with favour, instruct me how I am to propitiate the god." The Rishis answered; Prince", thou deservest to hear how the adoration of Vishnu has been performed by those who have been devoted to his service. The mind must first be made to forsake all external impressions, and a man must then fix it steadily on that being in whom the world is. By him whose thoughts are thus concentrated on one only object, and wholly filled by it; whose spirit is firmly under control; the prayer that we shall repeat to thee is to be inaudibly recited: Om! glory to Vasudeva, whose essence is divine wisdom; whose form is inscrutable, or is manifest as Brahma, Vishnu, and siva 2. This prayer, which was formerly uttered by your grandsire, the Manu Swayambhuva, and propitiated by which, Vishnu conferred upon him the prosperity he desired, and which was unequalled in the three worlds, is to be recited by thee. Do thou constantly repeat this prayer, for the gratification of Govinda."
vp.1.12 exclaimed, "the lord is contented with my devotions, let this be my reward, that I may know how to praise him as I wish. How can I, a child, pronounce his praises, whose abode is unknown to Brahma and to others learned in the Vedas? My heart is overflowing with devotion to thee: oh lord, grant me the faculty worthily to lay mine adorations at thy feet."
vp.1.12 Whilst lowly bowing, with his hands uplifted to his forehead, Govinda, the lord of the world, touched the son of Uttanapada with the tip of his conch shell, and immediately the royal youth, with a countenance sparkling with delight, praised respectfully the imperishable protector of living beings. "I venerate," exclaimed Dhruva, "him whose forms are earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect, the first element Ahankara(), primeval nature, and the pure, subtile, all pervading soul, that surpasses nature. Salutation to that spirit that is void of qualities; that is supreme over all the elements and all the objects of sense, over intellect, over nature and spirit. I have taken refuge with that pure form of thine, oh supreme, which is one with Brahma, which is spirit, which transcends all the world. Salutation to that form which, pervading and supporting all, is designated Brahma, unchangeable, and contemplated by religious sages. Thou art the male with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, who traversest the universe, and passest ten inches beyond its contact 2. Whatever has been, or is to be, that, Purushottama, thou art. From thee sprang Virat, Swarat, Samrat, and Adhipurusha 3. The lower, and upper, and middle parts of the earth are not independent of thee: from thee is all this universe, all that has been, and that shall be: and all this world is in thee, assuming this universal form 4. From thee is sacrifice
vp.1.12 manifold, Salutation to thee, soul of existent things, identical with the great elements. Thou, imperishable, art beheld in spiritual knowledge as perceptible objects, as nature, as spirit, as the world, as Brahma, as Manu, by internal contemplation. But thou art in all, the element of all; thou art all, assuming every form; all is from thee, and thou art from thyself. I salute thee, universal soul: glory be to thee. Thou art one with all things: oh lord of all, thou art present in all things. What can I say unto thee? thou knowest all that is in the heart, oh soul of all, sovereign lord of all creatures, origin of all things. Thou, who art all beings, knowest the desires of all creatures. The desire that I cherished has been gratified, lord, by thee: my devotions have been crowned with success, in that I have seen thee."
vp.1.13 Parasara. Sunitha was originally the daughter of Mrityu, by whom she was given to Anga to wife. She bore him Vena, who inherited the evil propensities of his maternal grandfather. When he was inaugurated by the Rishis monarch of the earth, he caused. it to be every where proclaimed, that no worship should be performed, no oblations offered, no gifts bestowed upon the Brahmans. "I, the king," said he, "am the lord of sacrifice; for who but I am entitled to the oblations." The Rishis, respectfully approaching the sovereign, addressed him in melodious accents, and said, "Gracious prince, we salute you; hear what we have to represent. For the preservation of your kingdom and your life, and for the benefit of all your subjects, permit us to worship Hari, the lord of all sacrifice, the god of gods, with solemn and protracted rites 2; a portion of the fruit of which will revert to you 3. Vishnu, the god of oblations, being propitiated with sacrifice by us, will grant you, oh king, all your desires. Those princes have all their wishes gratified, in whose realms Hari, the lord of sacrifice, is adored with sacrificial rites." "Who," exclaimed Vena, "is superior to me? who besides me is entitled to worship? who is this Hari, whom you style the lord of sacrifice? Brahma, Janarddana. sambhu, Indra, Vayu, Ravi (the sun), Hutabhuk
vp.1.13 There then fell from the sky the primitive bow (of Mahadeva) named Ajagava, and celestial arrows, and panoply from heaven. At the birth of Prithu all living creatures rejoiced; and Vena, delivered by his being born from the hell named Put, ascended to the realms above. The seas and rivers, bringing jewels from their depths, and water to perform the ablutions of his installation, appeared. The great parent of all, Brahma, with the gods and the descendants of Angiras (the fires), and with all things animate or inanimate, assembled and performed the ceremony of consecrating the son of Vena. Beholding in his right hand the (mark of the) discus of Vishnu, Brahma recognised a portion of that divinity in Prithu, and was much pleased; for the mark of Vishnu s discus is visible in the hand of one who is born to be a universal emperor 5, one whose power is invincible even by the gods.
vp.1.13 their affections he derived the title of Raja, or king 6. The waters became solid, when he traversed the ocean: the mountains opened him a path: his banner passed unbroken (through the forests): the earth needed not cultivation; and at a thought food was prepared: all kine were like the cow of plenty: honey was stored in every flower. At the sacrifice of the birth of Prithu, which was performed by Brahma, the intelligent Suta (herald or bard) was produced, in the juice of the moon plant, on the very birth day 7: at that great sacrifice also was produced the accomplished Magadha: and the holy sages said to these two persons, "Praise ye the king Prithu, the illustrious son of Vena; for this is your especial function, and here is a fit subject for your praise." But they respectfully replied to the Brahmans, "We know not the acts of the new born king of the earth; his merits are not understood by us; his fame is not spread abroad: inform us upon what subject we may dilate in his praise." "Praise the king," said the Rishis, "for the acts this heroic monarch will perform; praise him for the virtues he will display."
vp.1.13 On hearing this, Prithu took up his divine bow Ajagava, and his celestial arrows, and in great wrath marched forth to assail the Earth. Earth, assuming the figure of a cow, fled hastily from him, and traversed, through fear of the king, the regions of Brahma and the heavenly spheres; but wherever went the supporter of living things, there she beheld Vainya with uplifted weapons: at last, trembling with terror, and anxious to escape his arrows, the Earth addressed Prithu, the hero of resistless prowess. "Know you not, king of men," said the Earth, "the sin of killing a female, that you thus perseveringly seek to slay me." The prince replied; "When the happiness of many is secured by. the destruction of one malignant being, the death of that being is an act of virtue." "But," said the Earth, "if, in order to promote the welfare of your subjects, you put an end to me, whence, best of monarchs, will thy people derive their support." "Disobedient to my rule," rejoined Prithu, "if I destroy thee, I will support my people by the efficacy of my own devotions." Then the Earth, overcome with apprehension, and trembling in every limb, respectfully saluted the king, and thus spake: "All undertakings are successful, if suitable means of effecting them are employed.
vp.1.14 Parasara. The sons of Prachinaverhis were originally informed by their father, who had been appointed as a patriarch, and whose mind was intent on multiplying mankind, that the had been respectfully enjoined by Brahma, the god of gods, to labour to this end, and that he had promised obedience: "now therefore," continued he, "do you, my sons, to oblige me, diligently promote the increase of the people, for the orders of the father of all creatures are entitled to respect." The sons of the king, having heard their father s words, replied, "So be it;" but they then inquired of him, as he could best explain it, by what means they might accomplish the augmentation of mankind. He said to them; "Whoever worships Vishnu, the bestower of good, attains undoubtedly the object of his desires: there is no other mode. What further can I tell you? Adore therefore Govinda, who is Hari, the lord of all beings, in order to effect the increase of the human race, if you wish to succeed.
vp.1.14 separating all creatures. Glory to Krishna, who is Brahma in the form of sensible objects, who is ever the direction of the faculties of sense. We offer salutation to that supreme Hari who is one with the senses, both subtle and substantial, the recipient of all impressions, the root of all knowledge: to the universal soul, who, as internal intellect, delivers the impressions received by the senses to soul: to him who has the properties of Prakriti; in whom, without end, rest all things; from whom all things proceed; and who is that into which all things resolve. We worship that Purushottama, the god who is pure spirit, and who, without qualities, is ignorantly considered as endowed with qualities. We adore that supreme Brahma, the ultimate condition of Vishnu, unproductive, unborn, pure, void of qualities, and free from accidents; who is neither high nor low, neither bulky nor minute, has neither shape, nor colour, nor shadow, nor substance, nor affection, nor body; who is neither etherial nor susceptible of contact, smell, or taste; who has neither eyes, nor ears, nor motion, nor speech, nor breath, nor mind, nor name, nor race, nor enjoyment, nor splendour; who is without cause, without fear, without error, without fault, undecaying, immortal, free from passion, without sound, imperceptible, inactive, independent of place or time, detached from all investing properties; but (illusively) exercising irresistible might, and identified with all beings, dependent upon none.
vp.1.15 "When the Muni, princes, had heard these words, and knew that it was the truth, he began to reproach himself bitterly, exclaiming, Fie, fie upon me; my penance has been interrupted; the treasure of the learned and the pious has been stolen from me; my judgment has been blinded: this woman has been created by some one to beguile me: Brahma is beyond the reach of those agitated by the waves of infirmity 1. I had subdued my passions, and was about to attain divine knowledge. This was foreseen by him by whom this girl has been sent hither. Fie on the passion that has obstructed my devotions. All the austerities that would have led to acquisition of the wisdom of the Vedas have been rendered of no avail by passion that is the road to hell. The pious sage, having thus reviled himself, turned to the nymph, who was sitting nigh, and said to her, Go, deceitful girl, whither thou wilt: thou hast performed the office assigned thee by the monarch of the gods, of disturbing my penance by thy fascinations. I will not reduce thee to ashes by the fire of my wrath. Seven paces together is sufficient for the friendship of the virtuous, but thou and I have dwelt together. And in truth what fault hast thou committed? why should I be wroth with thee? The sin is wholly mine, in that I could not subdue my passions: yet fie upon thee, who, to gain favour with Indra, hast disturbed my devotions; vile bundle of delusion.
vp.1.15 prayers, by inaudibly reciting which the pious Kandu propitiated Kesava." On which Soma repeated as follows: Vishnu is beyond the boundary of all things: he is the infinite: he is beyond that which is boundless: he is above all that is above: he exists as finite truth: he is the object of the Veda; the limit of elemental being; unappreciable by the senses; possessed of illimitable might: he is the cause of cause; the cause of the cause of cause; the cause of finite cause; and in effects, he, both as every object and agent, preserves the universe: he is Brahma the lord; Brahma all beings; Brahma the progenitor of all beings; the imperishable: he is the eternal, undecaying, unborn Brahma, incapable of increase or diminution: Purushottama is the everlasting, untreated, immutable Brahma. May the imperfections of my nature be annihilated through his favour. Reciting this eulogium, the essence of divine truth, and propitiating Kesava, Kandu obtained final emancipation.
vp.1.15 Soma having concluded, the Prachetasas took Marisha, as he had enjoined them, righteously to wife, relinquishing their indignation against the trees: and upon her they begot the eminent patriarch Daksha, who had (in a former life) been born as the son of Brahma 5. This great sage, for the furtherance of creation, and the increase of mankind, created progeny. Obeying the command of Brahma, he made movable and immovable things, bipeds and quadrupeds; and subsequently, by his will, gave birth to females, ten of whom he bestowed on Dharma, thirteen on Kasyapa, and twenty seven, who regulate the course of time, on the moon 6. Of these, the gods, the Titans, the snake gods, cattle, and birds, the singers and dancers of the courts of heaven, the spirits of evil, and other beings, were born. From that period forwards living creatures
vp.1.15 Maitreya. Daksha, as I have formerly heard, was born from the right thumb of Brahma: tell me, great Muni, how he was regenerate as the son of the Prachetasas. Considerable perplexity also arises in my mind, how he, who, as the son of Marisha, was the grandson of Soma, could be also his father in law.
vp.1.15 Parasara. In what manner Daksha created living creatures, as commanded by Brahma, you shall hear. In the first place he willed into existence the deities, the Rishis, the quiristers of heaven, the Titans, and the snake gods. Finding that his will born progeny did not multiply themselves, he determined, in order to secure their increase, to establish sexual intercourse as the means of multiplication. For this purpose he espoused Asikni, the daughter of the patriarch Virana 8, a damsel addicted to devout practices, the eminent supportress of the world. By her the great father of mankind begot five thousand mighty sons, through whom he expected the world should be peopled. Narada, the divine Rishi, observing them desirous to multiply posterity, approached them, and addressed them in a friendly tone: "Illustrious Haryaswas, it is evident that your intention is to beget posterity; but first consider this: why should you, who, like fools, know not the middle, the height, and depth of the world 9, propagate offspring? When your intellect is no more obstructed by interval, height, or depth, then how, fools, shall ye not all behold the term of the universe?" Having heard the words of Narada, the sons of Daksha dispersed themselves through the regions, and to the present day have not returned; as rivers that lose themselves in the ocean come back no more.
vp.1.17 Parasara. Listen, Maitreya, to the story of the wise and magnanimous Prahlada, whose adventures are ever interesting and instructive. Hiranyakasipu, the son of Diti, had formerly brought the three worlds under his authority, confiding in a boon bestowed upon him by Brahma 1. He had usurped the sovereignty of Indra, and exercised of himself the functions of the sun, of air, of the lord of waters, of fire, and of the moon. He himself was the god of riches; he was the judge of the dead; and he appropriated to himself, without reserve, all that was offered in sacrifice to the gods. The deities therefore, flying from their seats in heaven, wandered, through fear of the Daitya, upon the earth, disguised in mortal shapes. Having conquered the three worlds, he was inflated with pride, and, eulogized by the Gandharbas, enjoyed whatever he desired. The Gandharbas, the Siddhas, and the snake gods all attended upon the mighty Hiranyakasipu, as he sat at the banquet. The Siddhas delighted stood before him, some playing on musical instruments, some singing songs in his praise, and others shouting cries of victory; whilst the nymphs of heaven danced gracefully in the crystal palace, where the Asura with pleasure quaffed the inebriating cup.
vp.1.17 om all things proceed." To this the king rejoined, "Are you desirous of death, fool, that you give the title of supreme lord to any one whilst I survive?" Vishnu", who is Brahma," said Prahlada, "is the creator and protector, not of me alone, but of all human beings, and even, father, of you: he is the supreme lord of all. Why should you, sire, be offended?" Hiranyakasipu then exclaimed, "What evil spirit has entered into the breast of this silly boy, that thus, like one possessed, he utters such profanity?" "Not into my heart alone," said Prahlada, "has Vishnu entered, but he pervades all the regions of the universe, and by his omnipresence influences the conduct of all beings, mine, fattier, and thine 2." "Away with the wretch!" cried
vp.1.18 THE Danavas, observing the conduct of Prahlada, reported it to the king, lest they should incur his displeasure. He sent for his cooks, and said to them, "My vile and unprincipled son is now teaching others his impious doctrines: be quick, and put an end to him. Let deadly poison be mixed up with all his viands, without his knowledge. Hesitate not, but destroy the wretch without delay." Accordingly they did so, and administered poison to the virtuous Prahlada, as his father had commanded them. Prahlada, repeating the name of the imperishable, ate and digested the food in which the deadly poison had been infused, and suffered no harm from it, either in body or mind, for it had been rendered innocuous by the name of the eternal. Beholding the strong poison digested, those who had prepared the food were filled with dismay, and hastened to the king, and fell down before him, and said, King" of the Daityas, the fearful poison given by us to your son has been digested by him along with his food, as if it were innocent. Hiranyakasipu, on hearing this, exclaimed, "Hasten, hasten, ministrant priests of the Daitya race! instantly perform the rites that will effect his destruction!" Then the priests went to Prahlada, and, having repeated the hymns of the Sama Veda, said to him, as he respectfully hearkened, "Thou hast been born, prince, in the family of Brahma, celebrated in the three worlds, the son of Hiranyakasipu, the king of the Daityas; why shouldest thou acknowledge dependance
vp.1.19 and piled them over him for many thousand miles: but he, still with mind undisturbed, thus offered daily praise to Vishnu, lying at the bottom of the sea, under the mountain heap. Glory" to thee, god of the lotus eye: glory to thee, most excellent of spiritual things: glory to thee, soul of all worlds: glory to thee, wielder of the sharp discus: glory to the best of Brahmans; to the friend of Brahmans and of kine; to Krishna, the preserver of the world: to Govinda be glory. To him who, as Brahma, creates the universe; who in its existence is its preserver; be praise. To thee, who at the end of the Kalpa takest the form of Rudra; to thee, who art triform; be adoration. Thou, Achyuta, art the gods, Yakshas, demons, saints, serpents, choristers and dancers of heaven, goblins, evil spirits, men, animals, birds, insects, reptiles, plants, and stones, earth, water, fire, sky, wind, sound, touch, taste, colour, flavour, mind, intellect, soul, time, and the qualities of nature: thou art all these, and the chief object of them all. Thou art knowledge and ignorance, truth and falsehood, poison and ambrosia. Thou art the performance and discontinuance of acts 4: thou art the acts which the Vedas enjoin: thou art the enjoyer of the fruit of all acts, and the means by which they are accomplished. Thou, Vishnu, who art the soul of all, art the fruit of all acts of piety. Thy universal diffusion, indicating might and goodness, is in me, in others, in all creatures, in all worlds. Holy
vp.1.19 glory to that imperishable form which, soul of all, is another manifestation 7 of thy might, the asylum of all qualities, existing in all creatures. I salute her, the supreme goddess, who is beyond the senses; whom the mind, the tongue, cannot define; who is to be distinguished alone by the wisdom of the truly wise. Om! salutation to Vasudeva: to him who is the eternal lord; he from whom nothing is distinct; he who is distinct from all. Glory be to the great spirit again and again: to him who is without name or shape; who sole is to be known by adoration; whom, in the forms manifested in his descents upon earth, the dwellers in heaven adore; for they behold not his inscrutable nature. I glorify the supreme deity Vishnu, the universal witness, who seated internally, beholds the good and ill of all. Glory to that Vishnu from whom this world is not distinct. May he, ever to be meditated upon as the beginning of the universe, have compassion upon me: may he, the supporter of all, in whom every thing is warped and woven 8, undecaying, imperishable, have compassion upon me. Glory, again and again, to that being to whom all returns, from whom all proceeds; who is all, and in whom all things are: to him whom I also am; for he is every where; and through whom all things are from me. I am all things: all things are in me, who am everlasting. I am undecayable, ever enduring, the receptacle of the spirit of the supreme. Brahma is my name; the supreme soul, that is before all things,
vp.1.21 These were the children of Kasyapa, whether movable or stationary, whose descendants multiplied infinitely through successive generations 22. This creation, oh Brahman, took place in the second or Swarochisha Manwantara. In the present or Vaivaswata Manwantara, Brahma being engaged at the great sacrifice instituted by Varuna, the creation of progeny, as it is called, occurred; for he begot, as his sons, the seven Rishis, who were formerly mind engendered; and was himself the grand sire of the Gandharbas, serpents, Danavas, and gods 23.
vp.1.22 WHEN Prithu was installed in the government of the earth, the great father of the spheres established sovereignties in other parts of the creation. Soma was appointed monarch of the stars and planets, of Brahmans and of plants, of sacrifices and of penance. Vaisravana was made king over kings; and Varuna, over the waters. Vishnu was the chief of the adityas; Pavaka, of the Vasus; Daksha, of the patriarchs; Vasava, of the winds. To Prahlada was assigned dominion over the Daityas and Danavas; and Yama, the king of justice, was appointed the monarch of the Manes Pitris(). Airavata was made the king of elephants; Garuda, of birds; Indra, of the gods. Uchchaisravas was the chief of horses; Vrishabha, of kine. sesha became the snake king; the lion, the monarch of the beasts; and the sovereign of the trees was the holy fig tree 1. Having thus fixed the limits of each authority, the great progenitor Brahma stationed rulers for the protection of the different quarters of the world: he made Sudhanwan, the son of the patriarch Viraja, the regent of the east; Sankhapada, the son of the patriarch Kardama, of the south; the immortal Ketumat, the son of Rajas, regent of the west; and Hiranyaroman, the son of the patriarch Parjanya, regent of the north 2. By these the whole earth, with its seven continents and its
vp.1.22 All these monarchs, and whatever others may be invested with authority by the mighty Vishnu, as instruments for the preservation of the world; all the kings who have been, and all who shall be; are all, most worthy Brahman, but portions of the universal Vishnu. The rulers of the gods, the rulers of the Daityas, the rulers of the Danavas, and the rulers of all malignant spirits; the chief amongst beasts, amongst birds, amongst men, amongst serpents; the best of trees, of mountains, of planets; either those that now are, or that shall hereafter be, the most exalted of their kind; are but portions of the universal Vishnu. The power of protecting created things, the preservation of the world, resides with no other than Hari, the lord of all. He is the creator, who creates the world; he, the eternal, preserves it in its existence; and he, the destroyer, destroys it; invested severally with the attributes of foulness, goodness, and gloom. By a fourfold manifestation does Janarddana operate in creation, preservation, and destruction. In one portion, as Brahma, the invisible assumes a visible form; in another portion he, as Marichi and the rest, is the progenitor of all creatures; his third portion is time; his fourth is all beings: and thus he becomes quadruple in creation, invested with the quality of passion. In the preservation of the world he is, in one portion, Vishnu; in another portion he is Manu and the other patriarchs; he is time in a third; and all beings in a fourth
vp.1.22 Brahma, Daksha, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Hari, which are the causes of creation. Vishnu, Manu and the rest, time, and all creatures are the four energies of Vishnu, which are the causes of duration. Rudra, the destroying fire, time, and all creatures
vp.1.22 are the four energies of Janarddana that are exerted for universal dissolution. In the beginning and the duration of the world, until the period of its end, creation is the work of Brahma, the patriarchs, and living animals. Brahma creates in the beginning; then the patriarchs beget progeny; and then animals incessantly multiply their kinds: but Brahma is not the active agent in creation, independent of time; neither are the patriarchs, nor living animals. So, in the periods of creation and of dissolution, the four portions of the god of gods are equally essential. Whatever, oh Brahman, is engendered by any living being, the body of Hari is cooperative in the birth of that being; so whatever destroys any existing thing, movable or stationary, at any time, is the destroying form of Janarddana as Rudra. Thus Janarddana is the creator, the preserver, and the destroyer of the whole world being threefold in the several seasons of creation, preservation, and destruction, according to his assumption of the three qualities: but his highest glory 3 is detached from all qualities; for the fourfold essence of the supreme spirit is composed of true wisdom, pervades all things, is only to be appreciated by itself, and admits of no similitude.
vp.1.22 Maitreya. But, Muni, describe to me fully the four varieties of the condition of Brahma, and what is the supreme condition 4.
vp.1.22 Parasara. That, Maitreya, which is the cause of a thing is called the means of effecting it; and that which it is the desire of the soul to accomplish is the thing to be effected. The operations of the Yogi who is desirous of liberation, as suppression of breath and the like, are his means: the end is the supreme Brahma, whence he returns to the world no more. Essentially connected with, and dependant upon, the means employed for emancipation by the Yogi, is discriminative knowledge; and this is the first variety of the condition of Brahma 5. The second
vp.1.22 sort is the knowledge that is to be acquired by the Yogi whose end is escape from suffering, or eternal felicity. The third kind is the ascertainment of the identity of the end and the means, the rejection of the notion of duality. The last kind is the removal of whatever differences may have been conceived by the three first varieties of knowledge, and the consequent contemplation of the true essence of soul. The supreme condition of Vishnu, who is one with wisdom, is the knowledge of truth; which requires no exercise; which is not to be taught; which is internally diffused; which is unequalled; the object of which is self illumination; which is simply existent, and is not to be defined; which is tranquil, fearless, pure; which is not the theme of reasoning; which stands in need of no support 6. Those Yogis who, by the annihilation of ignorance, are resolved into this fourfold Brahma, lose the seminal property, and can no longer germinate in the ploughed field of worldly existence. This is the supreme condition, that is called Vishnu, perfect,
vp.1.22 perpetual, universal, undecaying, entire, and uniform: and the Yogi who attains this supreme spirit Brahma() returns not to life again; for there he is freed from the distinction of virtue and vice, from suffering, and from soil.
vp.1.22 There are two states of this Brahma; one with, and one without shape; one perishable, and one imperishable; which are inherent in all beings. The imperishable is the supreme being; the perishable is all the world. The blaze of fire burning on one spot diffuses light and heat around; so the world is nothing more than the manifested energy of the supreme Brahma: and inasmuch, Maitreya, as the light and heat are stronger or feebler as we are near to the fire, or far off from it, so the energy of the supreme is more or less intense in the beings that are less or more remote from him. Brahma, Vishnu, and siva are the most powerful energies of god; next to them are the inferior deities, then the attendant spirits, then men, then animals, birds, insects, vegetables; each becoming more and more feeble as they are farther from their primitive source. In this way, illustrious Brahman, this whole world, although in essence imperishable and eternal, appears and disappears, as if it was subject to birth and death.
vp.1.22 The supreme condition of Brahma, which is meditated by the Yogis in the commencement of their abstraction, as invested with form, is Vishnu, composed of all the divine energies, and the essence of Brahma, with whom the mystic union that is sought, and which is accompanied by suitable elements, is effected 7 by the devotee whose whole mind is addressed to that object. This Hari, who is the most immediate of all the energies of Brahma, is his embodied shape, composed entirely of his essence; and in him therefore is the whole world interwoven; and from him, and in him, is the universe; and he, the supreme lord of all, comprising all that is perishable and imperishable, bears upon him all material and spiritual existence, identified in nature with his ornaments and weapons.
vp.2.2 On the summit of Meru is the vast city of Brahma, extending fourteen thousand leagues, and renowned in heaven; and around it, in the cardinal points and the intermediate quarters, are situated the stately cities of Indra and the other regents of the spheres 10. The capital of Brahma
vp.2.4 castes, assiduously devoted to their respective duties, are termed Damis, sushmis, Snehas, and Mandehas, who, in order to be relieved of the obligations imposed upon them in the discharge of their several functions, worship Janarddana, in the form of Brahma, and thus get rid of the unpleasant duties which lead to temporal rewards. The seven principal mountains in this Dwipa are named Vidruma, Hemasaila, Dyutiman, Pushpavan, Kusesaya, Hari, and Mandara; and the seven rivers are Dhutapapa, siva, Pavitra, Sammati, Vidyudambha, Mahhvanya, Sarvapapahara: besides these, there are numerous rivers and mountains of less importance. Kusa dwipa is so named from a clump of Kusa grass Poa() growing there. It is surrounded by the Ghrita sea (the sea of butter), of the same size as the continent.
vp.2.4 [paragraph continues] There is neither virtue nor vice, killer nor slain: there is no jealousy, envy, fear, hatred, covetousness, nor any moral defect: neither is there truth or falsehood. Food is spontaneously produced there, and all the inhabitants feed upon viands of every flavour. Men there are indeed of the same nature with gods, and of the same form and habits. There is no distinction of caste or order; there are no fixed institutes; nor are rites performed for the sake of advantage. The three Vedas, the Puranas, ethics, and polity, and the laws of service, are unknown. Pushkara is in fact, in both its divisions, a terrestrial paradise, where time yields happiness to all its inhabitants, who are exempt from sickness and decay. A Nyagrodha tree Ficus( indica) grows on this Dwipa, which is the especial abode of Brahma, and he resides in it, adored by the gods and demons. Pushkara is surrounded by the sea of fresh water, which is of equal extent with the continent it invests 4.
vp.2.7 Extent and situation of the seven spheres, viz. earth, sky, planets, Mahar loka, Janaloka, Tapo loka, and Satya loka. Of the egg of Brahma, and its elementary envelopes. Of the influence of the energy of Vishnu.
vp.2.7 Above Dhruva, at the distance of ton million leagues, lies the sphere of saints, or Mahar loka, the inhabitants of which dwell in it throughout a Kalpa, or day of Brahma. At twice that distance is situated Janaloka, where Sanandana and other pure minded sons of Brahma, reside. At four times the distance, between the two last, lies the Tapo loka (the sphere of penance), inhabited by the deities called Vaibhrajas, who are unconsumable by fire. At six times the distance (or twelve Crores, a hundred and twenty millions of leagues) is situated Satya loka, the sphere of truth, the inhabitants of which never again know death 3.
vp.2.7 The world is encompassed on every side and above and below by the shell of the egg of Brahma, in the same manner as the seed of the wood apple 5 is invested by its rind. Around the outer surface of the shell flows water, for a space equal to ten times the diameter of the world. The waters, again, are encompassed exteriorly by fire; fire by air; and air by Mind; Mind by the origin of the elements Ahankara(); and that by Intellect: each of these extends ten times the breadth of that which
vp.2.7 This Vishnu is the supreme spirit Brahma(), from whence all this world proceeds, who is the world, by whom the world subsists, and in whom it will be resolved. That spirit (or Brahma) is the supreme state of Vishnu, which is the essence of all that is visible or invisible; with which all that is, is identical; and whence all animate and inanimate existence is derived. He is primary nature: he, in a perceptible form, is the world: and in him all finally melts; through him all things endure. He is the performer of the rites of devotion: he is the rite: he is the fruit which it bestows: he is the implements by which it is performed. There is nothing besides the illimitable Hari.
vp.2.8 When the sun (at midday) passes over either of the cities of the gods, on the Manasottara mountain (at the cardinal points), his light extends to three cities and two intermediate points: when situated in an intermediate point, he illuminates two of the cities and three intermediate. points (in either case one hemisphere). From the period of his rise the sun moves with increasing rays until noon, when he proceeds towards his setting with rays diminishing (that is, his heat increases or diminishes in proportion as he advances to, or recedes from, the meridian of any place). The east and west quarters are so called from the sun s rising and setting there 7. As far as the sun shines in front, so far he shines behind and on either hand, illuminating all places except the summit of Meru, the mountain of the immortals; for when his rays reach the court of Brahma, which is there situated, they are repelled and driven back by the overpowering radiance which there prevails: consequently there is always the alternation of day and night, according as the divisions of the continent lie in the northern (or southern) quarter, or inasmuch as they are situated north (or south) of Meru 8.
vp.2.8 The night is called Usha, and the day is denominated Vyushta, and the interval between them is called Sandhya. On the occurrence of the awful Sandhya, the terrific fiends termed Mandehas attempt to devour the sun; for Brahma denounced this curse upon them, that, without the power to perish, they should die every day (and revive by night), and therefore a fierce contest occurs daily between them and the sun 12. At this season pious Brahmans scatter water, purified by the mystical Omkara, and consecrated by the Gayatri 13; and by this water, as by a thunderbolt, the foul fiends are consumed. When the first oblation is offered with solemn invocations in the morning rite 14, the thousand rayed deity shines forth with unclouded splendour. Omkara is Vishnu the mighty, the substance of the three Vedas, the lord of speech; and by its enunciation those Rakshasas are destroyed. The sun is a principal part of Vishnu, and light is his immutable essence, the active manifestation of which is excited by the mystic syllable Om. Light effused by the utterance of Omkara becomes radiant, and burns up entirely the Rakshasas called Mandehas. The performance of the Sandhya (the morning) sacrifice must never therefore be delayed, for he who neglects it is guilty of the murder of the sun. Protected thus by the Brahmans and the pigmy sages called Balakhilyas, the sun goes on his course to give light to the world.
vp.2.11 But this triple energy of Vishnu is not limited to the sun alone, for Brahma, Purusha Vishnu(), and Rudra are also made up of the same triform essence. In creation it is Brahma, consisting of the Rig veda in preservation it is Vishnu, composed of the Yajur veda; and in destruction Rudra, formed of the Sama veda, the utterance of which is consequently inauspicious 2.
vp.2.15 Parasara continued. Having terminated these remarks, the Brahman repeated to the silent and meditating prince a tale illustrative of the doctrines of unity. "Listen, prince," he proceeded, "to what was formerly uttered by Ribhu, imparting holy knowledge to the Brahman Nidagha. Ribhu was a son of the supreme Brahma, who, from his innate disposition, was of a holy character, and acquainted with true wisdom. Nidagha, the son of Pulastya, was his disciple; and to him Ribhu communicated willingly perfect knowledge, not doubting of his being fully confirmed in the doctrines of unity, when he had been thus instructed.
vp.3.2 In the tenth Manwantara the Manu will be Brahma savarni: the gods will be the Sudhamas, Viruddhas, and satasankhyas: the Indra will be the mighty santi: the Rishis will be Havishman, Sukriti, Satya, Apammurtti, Nabhaga, Apratimaujas, and Satyaketu: and the ten sons of the Manu will be Sukshetra, Uttarnaujas, Harishena, and others.
vp.3.2 An entire Kalpa, oh Brahman, is said to comprise a thousand ages, or fourteen Manwantaras 13; and it is succeeded by a night of similar duration; during which, he who wears the form of Brahma, Janarddana, the substance of all things, the lord of all, and creator of all, involved in his own illusions, and having swallowed up the three spheres, sleeps upon the serpent sesha, amidst the ocean 14. Being after that awake, he, who is the universal soul, again creates all things as they were before, in combination with the property of foulness (or activity): and in a portion of his essence, associated with the property of goodness, he, as the Manus, the kings, the gods, and their Indras, as well as the seven Rishis, is the preserver of the world. In what manner Vishnu, who is characterised by the attribute of providence during the four ages, effected their preservation, I will next, Maitreya, explain.
vp.3.3 Division of the Veda into four portions, by a Vyasa, in every Dwapara age. List of the twenty eight Vyasas of the present Manwantara. Meaning of the word Brahma.
vp.3.3 Twenty eight times have the Vedas been arranged by the great Rishis in the Vaivaswata Manwantara in the Dwapara age, and consequently eight and twenty Vyasas have passed away; by whom, in their respective periods, the Veda has been divided into four. In the first Dwapara age the distribution was made by Swayambhu Brahma() himself; in the second, the arranger of the Veda Veda( vyasa) was Prajapati (or Manu); in the third, Usanas; in the fourth, Vrihaspati; in the fifth, Savitri; in the sixth, Mrityu Death(, or Yama); in the seventh, Indra; in the eighth, Vasishtha; in the ninth, Saraswata; in the tenth, Tridhaman; in
vp.3.3 The syllable Om is defined to be the eternal monosyllabic Brahma 4. The word Brahma is derived from the root Vriha (to increase), because it is infinite (spirit), and because it is the cause by which the Vedas (and
vp.3.3 all things) are developed. Glory to Brahma, who is addressed by that mystic word, associated eternally with the triple universe 5, and who is one with the four Vedas. Glory to Brahma, who, alike in the destruction and renovation of the world, is called the great and mysterious cause of the intellectual principle Mahat(); who is without limit in time or space, and exempt from diminution or decay; in whom (as connected with the property of darkness) originates worldly illusion; and in whom resides the end of soul (fruition or liberation), through the properties of light and of activity (or goodness and foulness). He is the refuge of those who are versed in the Sankhya philosophy; of those who have acquired control over their thoughts and passions. He is the invisible, imperishable Brahma; varying in form, invariable in substance; the chief principle, self engendered; who is said to illuminate the caverns of the heart; who is indivisible, radiant, undecaying, multiform. To that supreme Brahma be for ever adoration.
vp.3.3 That form of Vasudeva, who is the same with supreme spirit, which is Brahma, and which, although diversified as threefold, is identical, is the lord, who is conceived by those that contemplate variety in creation to be distinct in all creatures. He, composed of the Rik, Sauna, and Yajur Vedas, is at the same time their essence, as he is the soul of all embodied spirits. He, distinguished as consisting of the Vedas, creates the Vedas, and divides them by many subdivisions into branches: he is the author of those branches: he is those aggregated branches; for he, the eternal lord, is the essence of true knowledge.
vp.3.4 When Vyasa was enjoined by Brahma to arrange the Vedas in different books, he took four persons, well read in those works, as his disciples. He appointed Paila reader of the Rich 3; Vaisampayana of
vp.3.5 meditated upon as the visible form of Vishnu, as the impersonation of the mystic Om: to him who nourishes the troops of the gods, having filled the moon with his rays; who feeds the Pitris with nectar and ambrosia, and who nourishes mankind with rain; who pours down or absorbs the waters in the time of the rains, of cold, and of heat. Glory be to Brahma, the sun, in the form of the three seasons: he who alone is the dispeller of the darkness of this earth, of which he is the sovereign lord: to the god who is clad in the raiment of purity be adoration. Glory to the sun, until whose rising man is incapable of devout acts, and water does not purify, and touched by whose rays the world is fitted for religious rites: to him who is the centre and source of purification. Glory to Savitri, to Surya, to Bhaskara, to Vivaswat, to aditya, to the first born of gods or demons. I adore the eye of the universe, borne in a golden car, whose banners scatter ambrosia."
vp.3.6 The first of all the Puranas is entitled the Brahma. Those who are
vp.3.6 acquainted with the Puranas enumerate eighteen, or the Brahma, Padma, Vaishnava, saiva, Bhagavata, Naradiya, Markandeya, agneya, Bhavishyat, Brahma Vaivartta, Lainga, Varaha, Skanda, Vamana, Kaurmma, Matsya, Garuda, Brahmanda. The creation of the world, and its successive reproductions, the genealogies of the patriarchs and kings, the periods of the Manus, and the transactions of the royal dynasties, are narrated in all these Puranas. This Purana which I have repeated to you, Maitreya, is called the Vaishnava, and is next in the series to the Padma; and in every part of it, in its narratives of primary and subsidiary creation, of families, and of periods, the mighty Vishnu is declared in this Purana 7.
vp.3.6 There are three kinds of Rishis, or inspired sages; royal Rishis, or princes who have adopted a life of devotion, as Viswamitra; divine Rishis, or sages who are demigods also, as Narada; and Brahman Rishis, or sages who are the sons of Brahma, or Brahmans, as Vasishtha and others.
vp.3.7 Maitreya. You have indeed related to me, most excellent Brahman, all that I asked of you; but I am desirous to hear one thing which you have not touched on. This universe, composed of seven zones, with its seven subterrestrial regions, and seven spheres this whole egg of Brahma. is every where swarming with living creatures, large or small, with smaller and smallest, and larger and largest; so that there is not the eighth part of an inch in which they do not abound. Now all these are captives in the chains of acts, and at the end of their existence become slaves to the power of Yama, by whom they are sentenced to painful punishments. Released from these inflictions, they are again born in the condition of gods, men, or the like: and thus living beings, as the sastras apprise us, perpetually revolve. Now the question I have to ask, and which you are so well able to answer, is, by what acts men may free themselves from subjection to Yama?
vp.3.7 Yama" beholding one of his servants with his noose in his hand, whispered to him, and said, Keep clear of the worshippers of Madhusudana. I am the lord of all men, the Vaishnavas excepted. I was appointed by Brahma, who is reverenced by all the immortals, to restrain mankind, and regulate the consequences of good and evil in the universe. But be who obeys Hari, as his spiritual guide, is here independent of me; for Vishnu is of power to govern and control me. As gold is one substance still, however diversified as bracelets, tiaras, or earrings, so Hari is one and the same, although modified in the forms of gods, animals, and man. As the drops of water, raised by wind from the earth, sink into the earth again when the wind subsides, so the varieties of gods, men, and animals, which have been detached by the agitation of the qualities, are reunited, when that disturbance ceases, with the eternal. He who through holy knowledge diligently adores the lotus foot of that Hari, who is reverenced by the gods, is released from all the bonds of sin; and you must avoid him as you would avoid fire fed with oil.
vp.3.8 Brahma", the great parent of creation, gave to the Vaisya the occupations of commerce and agriculture, and the feeding of flocks and herds, for his means of livelihood; and sacred study, sacrifice, and donation are also his duties, as is the observance of fixed and occasional rites.
vp.3.9 and possessions, enter the fourth order 6. Let him forego the three objects of human existence (pleasure, wealth, and virtue), whether secular or religious, and, indifferent to friends, be the friend of all living beings. Let him, occupied with devotion, abstain from wrong, in act, word, or thought, to all creatures, human or brute; and equally avoid attachment to any. Let him reside but for one night in a village, and not more than five nights at a time in a city; and let him so abide, that good will, and not animosity, may be engendered. Let him, for the support of existence, apply for alms at the houses of the three first castes, at the time when the fires have been extinguished, and people have eaten. Let the wandering mendicant call nothing his own, and suppress desire, anger, covetousness, pride, and folly. The sage who gives no cause for alarm to living beings need never apprehend any danger from them. Having deposited the sacrificial fire in his own person, the Brahman feeds the vital flame, with the butter that is collected as alms, through the altar of his mouth; and by means of his spiritual fire he proceeds to his own proper abode. But the twice born man 7, who seeks for liberation, and is pure of heart, and whose mind is perfected by self investigation, secures the sphere of Brahma, which is tranquil, and is as a bright flame that emits not smoke."
vp.3.10 "The forms of marriage are eight, the Brahma, Daiva, the arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharba, Rakshasa, and Paisacha; which last is the worst 10: but the caste to which either form has been enjoined as lawful by inspired sages should avoid any other mode of taking a wife. The householder who espouses a female connected with him by similarity of religious and civil obligations, and along with her discharges the duties of his condition, derives from such a wife great benefits."
vp.3.11 Aurva replied to him thus: "Listen, prince, to an account of those perpetual observances, by adhering to which both worlds are subdued. Those who are called Sadhus (saints) are they who are free from all defects; and the term Sat means the same, or Sadhu: those practices or observances (acharas) which they follow are therefore called Sadacharas, the institutions or observances of the pious 1. The seven Rishis, the Manus, the patriarchs, are they who have enjoined and who have practised these observances. Let the wise man awake in the Muhurtta of Brahma. (or in the third Muhurtta, about two hours before sunrise), and with a composed mind meditate on two of the objects of life (virtue and wealth), and on topics not incompatible with them. Let him also think upon desire, as not conflicting with the other two; and thus contemplate with equal indifference the three ends of life, for the purpose of counter acting the unseen consequences of good or evil acts. Let him avoid wealth and desire, if they give uneasiness to virtue; and abstain from virtuous or religious acts, if they involve misery, or are censured by the world 2. Having risen, he must offer adoration to the sun; and then, in
vp.3.11 "Having then rinced his mouth, he is to offer water to the sun, touching his forehead with his hands joined, and with this prayer; Salutation to Vivaswat, the radiant, the glory of Vishnu; to the pure illuminator of the world; to Savitri, the granter of the fruit of acts. He is then to perform the worship of the house, presenting to his tutelary deity water, flowers, and incense. He is next to offer oblations with fire, not preceded by any other rite, to Brahma 8. Having invoked Prajapati, let him pour oblations reverently to his household gods, to Kasyapa and to Anumati 9, in succession. The residue of the oblation let him offer to
vp.3.11 the earth, to water, and to rain, in a pitcher at hand; and to Dhatri and Vidhatri at the doors of his house, and in the middle of it to Brahma. Let the wise man also offer the Bali, consisting of the residue of the oblations, to Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Soma, at the four cardinal points of his dwelling, the east and the rest; and in the north east quarter he will present it to Dhanwantari 10. After having thus worshipped the domestic deities, he will next offer part of the residue to all the gods (the Viswadevas); then, in the north west quarter, to Vayu (wind); then, in all directions, to the points of the horizon, to Brahma, to the atmosphere, and to the sun; to all the gods, to all beings, to the lords of beings, to the Pitris, to twilight. Then taking other rice 11, let the householder at pleasure cast it upon a clean spot of ground, as an offering to all beings, repeating with collected mind this prayer; May gods, men, animals, birds, saints, Yakshas, serpents, demons, ghosts, goblins, trees, all that desire food given by me; may ants, worms, moths, and other insects, hungered and bound in the bonds of acts; may all obtain satisfaction from the food left them by me, and enjoy happiness. May they who have neither mother, nor father, nor relations, nor food, nor the means of preparing it, be satisfied and pleased with the food presented for their contentment 12. Inasmuch as all beings, and this food, and I, and Vishnu are not different, I therefore give for their
vp.3.11 "The householder is then to remain at eventide in his courtyard as long as it takes to milk a cow 14, or longer if he pleases, to await the arrival of a guest. Should such a one arrive, he is to be received with a hospitable welcome; a seat is to be offered to him, and his feet are to be washed, and food is to be given him with liberality, and he is to be civilly and kindly spoken to; and when he departs, to be sent away by his host with friendly wishes. A householder should ever pay attention to a guest who is not an inhabitant of the same village, but who comes from another place, and whose name and lineage are unknown. He who feeds himself, and neglects the poor and friendless stranger in want of hospitality, goes to hell. Let a householder who has a knowledge of Brahma reverence a guest, without inquiring his studies, his school, his practices, or his race 15.
vp.3.11 "A householder should also at the perpetual sraddha entertain another Brahman, who is of his own country, whose family and observances are known, and who performs the five sacramental rites. He is likewise to present to a Brahman learned in the Vedas four handfulls of food, set apart with the exclamation Hanta; and he is to give to a mendicant religious student three handfulls of rice, or according to his pleasure when he has ample means. These, with the addition of the mendicant before described, are to be considered as guests; and he who treats these four descriptions of persons with hospitality acquits himself of the debt due to his fellow men. The guest who departs disappointed from any house, and proceeds elsewhere, transfers his sins to the owner of that mansion, and takes away with him such a householder s merits. Brahma, Prajapati, Indra, fire, the Vasus, the sun, are present in the person of a
vp.3.14 Aurva proceeded. "Let the devout performer of an ancestral oblation propitiate Brahma, Indra, Rudra, the aswins, the sun, fire, the
vp.3.14 "When a householder finds that any circumstance has occurred, or a distinguished guest has arrived, on which account ancestral ceremonies are appropriate, the should celebrate them. He should offer a voluntary sacrifice upon any atmospheric portent, at the equinoctial and solstitial periods, at eclipses of the sun and moon, on the sun s entrance into a zodiacal sign, upon unpropitious aspects of the planets and asterisms, on dreaming unlucky dreams, and on eating the grain of the year s harvest. The Pitris 1 derive satisfaction for eight years from ancestral offerings upon the day of new moon when the star of the conjunction 2 is Anuradha, Visakha, or Swati; and for twelve years when it is Pushya, Ardra, or Punarvasu. It is not easy for a man to effect his object, who is desirous of worshipping the Pitris or the gods on a day of new moon when the stars are those of Dhanishtha, Purvabhadrapada, or satabhisha. Hear also an account of another class of Sraddhas, which afford especial contentment to progenitors, as explained by Sanatkumara, the son of Brahma, to the magnanimous Pururavas, when full of faith and devotion to the Pitris he inquired how he might please them. The third lunar day of the month Vaisakha April(, May), and the ninth of Kartika
vp.3.17 There was formerly a battle between the gods and demons, for the period of a divine year, in which the gods were defeated by the demons under the command of Hrada 2. The discomfited deities fled to the northern shore of the milky ocean, where engaging in religious penance they thus prayed to Vishnu: "May the first of beings, the divine Vishnu, be pleased with the words that we are about to address to him, in order to propitiate the lord of all worlds; from which mighty cause all created things have originated, and into whom they shall again dissolve! Who is able to declare his praise? We, who have been put to shame by the triumph of our foes, will glorify thee, although thy true power and might be not within the reach of words. Thou art earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, crude matter, and primeval soul: all this elementary creation, with or without visible form, is thy body; all, from Brahma to a stock, diversified by place and time. Glory to thee, who art Brahma, thy first form, evolved from the lotus springing from thy navel, for the purpose of creation. Glory to thee, who art Indra, the sun, Rudra, the Vasus, fire, the winds, and even also ourselves. Glory to they, Govinda, who art all demons, whose essence is arrogance and want of discrimination, unchecked by patience or self control. Glory to thee, who art the Yakshas, whose nature is charmed with sounds, and whose frivolous hearts perfect knowledge cannot pervade. Glory to thee, who art all fiends, that walk by
vp.3.17 dances with delight after he has swallowed up all things, the gods and the rest, without distinction. Glory to thee, Janarddana, who art man, the agent in developing the results of that activity which proceeds from the quality of foulness. Glory to thee, who art brute animals, the universal spirit that tends to perversity, which proceeds from the quality of darkness, and is encumbered with the twenty eight kinds of obstructions 3. Glory to thee, who art that chief spirit which is diversified in the vegetable world, and which, as the essence of sacrifice, is the instrument of accomplishing the perfection of the universe. Glory to thee, who art every thing, and whose primeval form is the objects of perception, and heaven, and animals, and men, and gods. Glory to thee, who art the cause of causes, the supreme spirit; who art distinct from us and all beings composed of intelligence and matter and the like, and with whose primeval nature there is nothing that can be compared. We bow to thee, O lord, who hast neither colour, nor extension, nor bulk, nor any predicable qualities; and whose essence, purest of the pure, is appreciable only by holy sages. We bow to thee, in the nature of Brahma, untreated, undecaying; who art in our bodies, and in all other bodies, and in all living creatures; and besides whom there is nothing else. We glorify that Vasudeva, the sovereign lord of all, who is without soil, the seed of all things, exempt from dissolution, unborn, eternal, being in
vp.4.1 Dynasties of kings. Origin of the solar dynasty from Brahma. Sons of the Manu Vaivaswata. Transformations of Ila or Sudyumna. Descendants of the sons of Vaivaswat; those of Nedishtha. Greatness of Marutta. Kings of Vaisali. Descendants of saryati. Legend of Raivata; his daughter Revati married to Balarama.
vp.4.1 Parasara. I will repeat to you, Maitreya, an account of the family of Manu, commencing with Brahma, and graced by a number of religious, magnanimous, and heroic princes. Of which it is said, "The lineage of him shall never be extinct, who daily calls to mind the race of
vp.4.1 [paragraph continues] Manu, originating with Brahma 2." Listen therefore, Maitreya, to the entire series of the princes of this family, by which all sin shall be effaced.
vp.4.1 Before the evolution of the mundane egg, existed Brahma, who was Hiranyagarbha, the form of that supreme Brahma which consists of Vishnu as identical with the Rig, Yajur, and Sama Vedas; the primeval, uncreated cause of all worlds. From the right thumb of Brahma was born the patriarch Daksha 3; his daughter was Aditi, who was the mother of the sun. The Manu Vaivaswata was the son of the celestial luminary; and his sons were Ikshwaku, Nriga, Dhrishta, saryati, Narishyanta, Pransu, Nabhaga, Nedishta, Karusha, and Prishadhra 4.
vp.4.1 the country called after his father anartta, and dwelt at the capital denominated Kusasthali 31. The son of this prince was Raivata or Kakudmin, the eldest of a hundred brethren. He had a very lovely daughter, and not finding any one worthy of her hand, he repaired with her to the region of Brahma to consult the god where a fit bridegroom was to be met with. When he arrived, the quiristers Haha, Huhu, and others, were singing before Brahma; and Raivata, waiting till they had finished, imagined the ages that elapsed during their performance to be but as a moment. At the end of their singing, Raivata prostrated himself before Brahma, and explained his errand. "Whom should you wish for a son in law?" demanded Brahma; and the king mentioned to him various persons with whom he could be well pleased. Nodding his head gently, and graciously smiling, Brahma said to him, "Of those whom you have named the third or fourth generation no longer survives, for many successions of ages have passed away whilst you were listening to our songsters: now upon earth the twenty eighth great age of the present Manu is nearly finished, and the Kali period is at hand. You must therefore bestow this virgin gem upon some other husband, for you are now alone, and your friends, your ministers, servants, wife, kinsmen, armies, and treasures, have long since been swept away by the hand of time." Overcome with astonishment and alarm, the Raja then said to Brahma, "Since I am thus circumstanced, do thou,
vp.4.2 Parasara. Whilst Kakudmin, surnamed Raivata, was absent on his visit to the region of Brahma, the evil spirits or Rakshasas named Punyajanas destroyed his capital Kusasthali. His hundred brothers, through dread of these foes, fled in different directions; and the Kshatriyas, their descendants, settled in many countries 1.
vp.4.2 Mandhatri, unwilling to provoke the indignation of the Muni, was accordingly obliged to command the eunuch to lead the sage into the inner chambers; who, as he entered the apartments, put on a form and features of beauty far exceeding the personal charms of mortals, or even of heavenly spirits. His conductor, addressing the princesses, said to them, "Your father, young ladies, sends you this pious sage, who has demanded of him a bride; and the Raja has promised him, that he will not refuse him any one of you who shall choose him for her husband." When the damsels heard this, and looked upon the person of the Rishi, they were equally inspired with passion and desire, and, like a troop of female elephants disputing the favours of the master of the herd, they all contended for the choice. "Away, away, sister!" said each to the other; "this is my election, he is my choice; he is not a meet bridegroom for you; he has been created by Brahma on purpose for me, as I have been created in order to become his wife: he has been chosen by me before you; you have no right to prevent his becoming my husband." In this way arose a violent quarrel amongst the daughters of the king, each insisting upon the exclusive election of the Rishi: and as the blameless sage was thus contended for by the rival princesses, the superintendent of the inner apartments, with a downcast look, reported to the king what had occurred. Perplexed more than ever by this
vp.4.2 Having then wedded, agreeably to law, all the princesses, the sage took them home to his habitation, where he employed the chief of architects, Viswakarman, equal in taste and skill to Brahma himself, to construct separate palaces for each of his wives: he ordered him to provide each building with elegant couches and seats and furniture, and to attach to them gardens and groves, with reservoirs of water, where the wild duck and the swan should sport amidst beds of lotus flowers. The divine artist obeyed his injunctions, and constructed splendid apartments for the wives of the Rishi; in which by command of Saubhari, the inexhaustible and divine treasure called Nanda 21 took up his permanent abode, and the princesses entertained all their guests and dependants with abundant viands of every description and the choicest quality.
vp.4.6 Kings of the lunar dynasty. Origin of Soma, or the moon: he carries off Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati: war between the gods and Asuras in consequence: appeased by Brahma. Birth of Budha: married to Ila, daughter of Vaivaswata. Legend of his son Pururavas, and the nymph Urvasi: the former institutes offerings with fire: ascends to the sphere of the Gandharbas.
vp.4.6 Atri was the son of Brahma, the creator of the universe, who sprang from the lotus that grew from the navel of Narayana. The son of Atri was Soma 1 (the moon), whom Brahma installed as the sovereign of plants, of Brahmans, and of the stars. Soma celebrated the Rajasuya sacrifice, and from the glory thence acquired, and the extensive dominion with which he had been invested, he became arrogant and licentious, and carried off Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati, the preceptor of the gods. In vain Vrihaspati sought to recover his bride; in vain Brahma commanded, and the holy sages remonstrated; Soma refused to relinquish her. Usanas, out of enmity to Vrihaspati, took part with Soma. Rudra, who had studied under Angiras, the father of Vrihaspati, befriended his
vp.4.6 Then there ensued a fierce contest, which, being on account of Taraka (or Tara), was termed the Tarakamaya or Taraka war. In this the gods, led by Rudra, hurled their missiles on the enemy; and the Daityas with equal determination assailed the gods. Earth, shaken to her centre by the struggle between such foes, had recourse to Brahma for protection; on which he interposed, and commanding Usanas with the demons and Rudra with the deities to desist from strife, compelled Soma to restore Tara to her husband. Finding that she was pregnant, Vrihaspati desired her no longer to retain her burden; and in obedience to his orders she was delivered of a son, whom she deposited in a clump of long Munja grass. The child, from the moment of its birth, was endued with a splendour that dimmed the radiance of every other divinity, and both Vrihaspati and Soma, fascinated by his beauty, claimed him as their child. The gods, in order to settle the dispute, appealed to Tara; but she was ashamed, and would make no answer. As she still continued mute to their repeated applications, the child became incensed, and was about to curse her, saying, "Unless, vile woman, you immediately declare who is my father, I will sentence you to such a fate as shall deter every female in future from hesitating to speak the truth." On this, Brahma again interfered, and pacified the child; and then, addressing Tara, said, "Tell me, daughter, is this the child of Vrihaspati, or of Soma?" "Of Soma," said Tara,
vp.4.9 Raji had five hundred sons, all of unequalled daring and vigour. Upon the occurrence of a war between the demons and the gods, both parties inquired of Brahma which would be victorious. The deity replied, "That for which Raji shall take up arms." Accordingly the Daityas immediately repaired to Raji, to secure his alliance; which he promised them, if they would make him their Indra after defeating the gods. To this they answered and said, "We cannot profess one thing, and mean another; our Indra is Prahlada, and it is for him that we wage war." Having thus spoken, they departed; and the gods then came to him on the like errand. He proposed to them the said conditions, and they agreed that he should be their Indra. Raji therefore joined the heavenly host, and by his numerous and formidable weapons destroyed the army of their enemies.
vp.4.15 When Devaki was pregnant the seventh time, Yoganidra (the sleep of devotion), sent by Vishnu, extricated the embryo from its maternal womb at midnight, and transferred it to that of Rohini; and from having been thus taken away, the child (who was Balarama) received the name of Sankarshana. Next, the divine Vishnu himself, the root of the vast universal tree, inscrutable by the understandings of all gods, demons, sages, and men, past, present, or to come, adored by Brahma and all the deities, he who is without beginning, middle, or end, being moved to relieve the earth of her load, descended into the womb of Devaki, and was born as her son Vasudeva. Yoganidra, proud to execute his orders, removed the embryo to Yasoda, the wife of Nanda the cowherd. At his birth the earth was relieved from all iniquity; the sun, moon, and planets shone with unclouded splendour; all fear of calamitous portents was dispelled; and universal happiness prevailed. From the moment he appeared, all mankind were led into the righteous path in him.
vp.4.20 [paragraph continues] The son of Bhima by Hidimba was Ghatotkacha, and he had also Sarvatraga by his wife Kasi. The son of Sahadeva by Vijaya was Suhotra; and Niramitra was the son of Nakula by Karenumati. Arjuna had Iravat by the serpent nymph Ulupi; Babhruvahana, who was adopted as the son of his maternal grandfather, by the daughter of the king of Manipura; and, by his wife Subhadra Abhimanyu, who even in extreme youth was renowned for his valour and his strength, and crushed the chariots of his foes in fight. The son of Abhimanyu by his wife Uttara was Parikshit, who, after the Kurus were all destroyed, was killed in his mother s womb by the magic Brahma weapon, hurled by Aswatthaman: he was however restored to life by the clemency of that being whose feet receive the homage of all the demons and the gods, and who for his own pleasure had assumed a human shape Krishna(). This prince, Parikshit, now reigns over the whole world with undivided sway 6.
vp.4.24 portion of that divine being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character of Brahma, and who is the beginning and the end, and who comprehends all things, shall descend upon earth: he will be born in the family of Vishnuyasas, an eminent Brahman of Sambhala village, as Kalki, endowed with the eight superhuman faculties. By his irresistible might he will destroy all the Mlechchhas and thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then reestablish righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita age, or age of purity. As it is said; "When the sun and moon, and the lunar asterism Tishya, and the planet Jupiter, are in one mansion, the Krita age shall return 80."
vp.5.1 At that time, Earth, overburdened by her load, repaired to mount Meru to an assembly of the gods, and addressing the divinities, with Brahma at their head, related in piteous accents all her distress. Agni"," said Earth, "is the progenitor of gold; Surya, of rays of light 5: the parent and guide of me and of all spheres is the supreme Narayana, who is Brahma, the lord of the lord of patriarchs; the eldest of the eldest born; one with minutes and hours; one with time; having form, though indiscrete. This assemblage of yourselves, O gods, is but a part of him. The sun, the winds, the saints, the Rudras, the Vasus, the Aswins, fire, the patriarch creators of the universe, of whom Atri is the first, all are but forms of the mighty and inscrutable Vishnu. The Yakshas, Rakshasas, Daityas, spirits of evil, serpents, and children of Danu, the singers and nymphs of heaven, are forms of the great spirit, Vishnu. The heavens painted with planets, constellations, and stars; fire, water, wind, and myself, and every perceptible thing; the whole universe itself consists of Vishnu. The multifarious forms of that manifold being encounter
vp.5.1 When the gods had heard these complaints of Earth, Brahma at their request explained to them how her burden might be lightened. Celestials"," said Brahma, "all that Earth has said is undoubtedly true. I, Mahadeva, and you all, are but Narayana; but the impersonations of his power are for ever mutually fluctuating, and excess or diminution is indicated by the predominance of the strong, and the depression of the weak. Come therefore, let us repair to the northern coast of the milky sea, and having glorified Hari, report to him what we have heard. He, who is the spirit of all, and of whom the universe consists, constantly, for the sake of Earth, descends in a small portion of his essence to establish righteousness below." Accordingly Brahma, attended by the gods, went to the milky sea, and there, with minds intent upon him, praised him whose emblem is Garuda.
vp.5.1 "O thou," said Brahma, "who art distinct from holy writ 8; whose double nature is twofold wisdom 9, superior and inferior, and who art the
vp.5.1 essential end of both; who, alike devoid and possessed of form, art the twofold Brahma 10; smallest of the least, and largest of the large; all, and knowing all things; that spirit which is language; that spirit which is supreme; that which is Brahma, and of which Brahma is composed! Thou art the Rich, the Yajush, the Saman, and the Atharvan Vedas. Thou art accentuation, ritual, signification, metre, and astronomy; history, tradition, grammar, theology, logic, and law: thou who art inscrutable. Thou art the doctrine that investigates the distinctions between soul, and life, and body, and matter endowed with qualities 11; and that doctrine is nothing else but thy nature inherent in and presiding over it 12. Thou art imperceptible, indescribable, inconceivable; without name, or colour, or hands, or feet; pure, eternal, and infinite. Thou hearest without ears, and seest without eyes. Thou art one and multiform. Thou movest without feet; thou seizest without hands. Thou knowest all, but art not by all to be known 13. He who beholds thee as the most subtile of atoms, not substantially existent, puts an end to ignorance; and final emancipation is the reward of that wise man whose understanding cherishes nothing other than thee in the form of supreme delight 14. Thou art the common centre of all 15, the protector of the
vp.5.1 The unborn, universal Hari, having heard with his mental ear these eulogiums, was pleased, and thus spake to Brahma: "Tell me, Brahma, what you and the gods desire: speak boldly, certain of success." Brahma, beholding the divine, universal form of Hari, quickly prostrated himself, and again renewed his praises. Glory" to thee, the thousand formed, the thousand armed, the many visaged, many footed; to thee, the illimitable author of creation, preservation, and destruction; most subtile of the subtile, most vast of the great: to thee, who art nature, intellect, and consciousness; and who art other spirit even than the spiritual root of those principles 22. Do thou shew favour upon us. Behold, lord, this earth, oppressed by mighty Asuras, and shaken to her mountain basements, comes to thee, who art her invincible defender, to be relieved from her burden. Behold me, Indra, the Aswins, Varuna, and Yama, the Rudras, the Vasus, the suns, the winds, fire, and all other celestials, prepared to execute whatever thou shalt will that we shall do. Do thou, in whom there is no imperfection, O sovereign of the deities, give thy orders to thy servants: lo, we are ready."
vp.5.1 When Brahma had ended, the supreme lord plucked off two hairs, one white and one black, and said to the gods, "These my hairs shall descend upon earth, and shall relieve her of the burden of her distress 23.
vp.5.2 THE nurse of the universe, Jagaddhatri, thus enjoined by the god of gods, conveyed the six several embryos into the womb of Devaki 1, and transferred the seventh after a season to that of Rohini; after which, Hari, for the benefit of the three regions, became incarnate as the conception of the former princess, and Yoganidra as that of Yasoda, exactly as the supreme Vishnu had commanded. When the portion of Vishnu had become incorporate upon earth, the planetary bodies moved in brilliant order in the heavens, and the seasons were regular and genial. No person could bear to gaze upon Devaki, from the light that invested her; and those who contemplated her radiance felt their minds disturbed. The gods, invisible to mortals, celebrated her praises continually from the time that Vishnu was contained in her person. "Thou," said the divinities, "art that Prakriti, infinite and subtile, which formerly bore Brahma in its womb: then wast thou the goddess of speech, the energy of the creator of the universe, and the parent of the Vedas. Thou, eternal being, comprising in thy substance the essence of all created things, wast identical with creation: thou wast the parent of the triform sacrifice, becoming the germ of all things: thou art sacrifice, whence all fruit proceeds: thou art the wood, whose attrition engenders fire. As Aditi, thou art the parent of the gods; as Diti, thou art the mother of the Daityas, their foes. Thou art light, whence day is begotten: thou art humility, the
vp.5.2 and thousands more, are thy mighty faculties; and now innumerable are the contents of thy womb, O mother of the universe. The whole earth, decorated with oceans, rivers, continents, cities, villages, hamlets, and towns; all the fires, waters, and winds; the stars, asterisms, and planets; the sky, crowded with the variegated chariots of the gods, and ether, that provides space for all substance; the several spheres of earth, sky, and heaven; of saints, sages, ascetics, and of Brahma; the whole egg of Brahma, with all its population of gods, demons, spirits, snake gods, fiends, demons, ghosts, and imps, men and animals, and whatever creatures have life, comprised in him who is their eternal lord, and the object of all apprehension; whose real form, nature, name, and dimensions are not within human apprehension are now with that Vishnu in thee. Thou art Swaha; thou art Swadha; thou art wisdom, ambrosia, light, and heaven. Thou hast descended upon earth for the preservation of the world. Have compassion upon us, O goddess, and do good unto the world. Be proud to bear that deity by whom the universe is upheld."
vp.5.7 [paragraph continues] O god of gods!" they exclaimed; "thou art the sovereign of all; thou art light supreme, inscrutable; thou art the mighty lord, the portion of that supreme light. The gods themselves are unable worthily to praise thee, the lord self existent: how then shall females proclaim thy nature? How shall we fully declare him of whom the egg of Brahma, made up of earth, sky, water, fire, and air, is but a small portion of a part? Holy sages have in vain sought to know thy eternal essence. We bow to that form which is the most subtile of atoms, the largest of the large; to him whose birth is without a creator, whose end knows no destroyer, and who alone is the cause of duration. There is no wrath in thee; for thine is the protection of the world; and hence this chastisement of Kaliya. Yet hear us. Women are to be regarded with pity by the virtuous: animals are humanely treated even by fools. Let therefore the author of wisdom have compassion upon this poor creature. Thyself, as an oviparous, hooded snake, art the upholder of the world. Oppressed by thee, he will speedily perish. What is this feeble serpent, compared to thee in whom the universe reposes? Friendship and enmity are felt towards equals and superiors, not for those infinitely beneath us. Then, sovereign of the world, have mercy upon us. This unfortunate snake is about to expire: give us, as a gift of charity, our husband."
vp.5.7 When they had thus spoken, the Naga himself, almost exanimate, repeated feebly their solicitations for mercy. "Forgive me," the murmured, "O god of gods! How shall I address thee, who art possessed, through thine own strength and essence, of the eight great faculties, in energy unequalled? Thou art the supreme, the progenitor of the supreme Brahma(): thou art the supreme spirit, and from thee the supreme proceeds: thou art beyond all finite objects; how can I speak thy praise? How can I declare his greatness, from whom cone Brahma, Rudra, Chandra, Indra, the Maruts, the Aswins, the Vasus, and adityas; of whom the whole world is an infinitely small portion, a portion destined to represent his essence; and whose nature, primitive or derived, Brahma and the immortals do not comprehend? How can I approach him, to whom the gods offer incense and flowers culled from the groves of Nandana; whose incarnate forms the king of the deities ever adores, unconscious of his real person; whom the sages, that have withdrawn
vp.5.13 singing sweet low strains in various measures, such as the women loved; and they, as soon as they heard the melody, quitted their homes, and hastened to meet the foe of Madhu. One damsel gently sang an accompaniment to his song; another attentively listened to his melody: one calling out upon his name, then shrunk abashed; whilst another, more bold, and instigated by affection, pressed close to his side: one, as she sallied forth, beheld some of the seniors of the family, and dared not venture, contenting herself with meditating on Krishna with closed eyes, and entire devotion, by which immediately all acts of merit were effaced by rapture, and all sin was expiated by regret at not beholding him: and others, again, reflecting upon the cause of the world, in the form of the supreme Brahma, obtained by their sighing final emancipation. Thus surrounded by the Gopis, Krishna thought the lovely moonlight night of autumn propitious to the Rasa dance 1. Many of the Gopis imitated the different actions of Krishna, and in his absence wandered through Vrindavana, representing his person. "I am Krishna," cries one; "behold the elegance of my movements." "I am Krishna," exclaims another; "listen to my song." "Vile Kaliya, stay! for I am Krishna," is repeated by a third, slapping her arms in defiance. A fourth calls out, Herdsmen", fear nothing; be steady; the danger of the storm is over, for, lo, I lift up Govarddhana for your shelter." And a fifth proclaims, "Now let the herds graze
vp.5.17 AKRURA, having set off in his quick travelling car, proceeded to visit Krishna at the pastures of Nanda; and, as he went along, he congratulated himself on his superior good fortune, in having an opportunity of beholding a descended portion of the deity. "Now," thought he, "has my life borne fruit; my night is followed by the dawn of day; since I shall see the countenance of Vishnu, whose eyes are like the expanded leaf of the lotus. I shall behold that lotus eyed aspect of Vishnu, which, when seen only in imagination, takes away the sins of men. I shall to day behold that glory of glories, the mouth of Vishnu, whence proceeded the Vedas, and all their dependant sciences. I shall see the sovereign of the world, by whom the world is sustained; who is worshipped as the best of males, as the male of sacrifice in sacrificial rites. I shall see Kesava, who is without beginning or end; by worshipping whom with a hundred sacrifices, Indra obtained the sovereignty over the gods. That Hari, whose nature is unknown to Brahma, Indra, Rudra, the Aswins, the Vasus, adityas, and Maruts, will this day touch my body. The soul of all, the knower of all, he who is all, and is present in all, he who is permanent, undecaying, all pervading, will converse with me. He, the unborn, who has preserved the world in the various forms of a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a horse 1, a lion, will this day speak to me. Now the lord of the earth, who assumes shapes at will, has taken upon him the condition of
vp.5.18 elegant gait, and significant glances, belong to the women of the city. Hari is of rustic breeding, and, captivated by their fascinations, what likelihood is there of his returning to the society of any one amongst us? Kesava, who has mounted the car to go to Mathura, has been deceived by the cruel, vile, and desperate Akrura. Does not the unfeeling traitor know the affection that we all here feel for our Hari, the joy of our eyes, that he is taking him away? Unkind that he is, Govinda is departing from us, along with Rama: haste! let us stop him! Why talk of telling our seniors that we cannot bear his loss? What can they do for us, when we are consumed by the fires of separation? The Gopas, with Nanda at their head, are themselves preparing to depart; no one makes any attempt to detain Govinda. Bright is the morning that succeeds to this night for the women of Mathura, for the bees of their eyes will feed upon the lotus face of Achyuta. Happy are they who may go hence without impediment, and behold, enraptured, Krishna on his journey. A great festival will give pleasure to day to the eyes of the inhabitants of Mathura, when they see the person of Govinda. What a blissful vision will be seen by the happy women, of the city, whose brilliant eyes shall regard, unchecked, the countenance of Krishna! Alas! the eyes of the Gopis have been deprived of sight by the relentless Brahma, after he had shewn them this great treasure. In proportion as the affection of Hari for us decays,
vp.5.18 Salutation" to thee, who art uniform and manifold, all pervading, supreme spirit, of inconceivable glory, and who art simple existence. Salutation to thee, O inscrutable, who art truth, and the essence of oblations. Salutation to thee, O lord, whose nature is unknown, who art beyond primeval matter, who existest in five forms, as one with the elements, with the faculties, with matter, with the living soul, with supreme spirit. Shew favour to me, O soul of the universe, essence of all things, perishable or eternal, whether addressed by the designation of Brahma, Vishnu, siva, or the like. I adore thee, O god, whose nature is indescribable, whose purposes are inscrutable, whose name even is unknown; for the attributes of kind or appellation are not applicable to thee, who art THAT 6, the supreme Brahma, eternal, unchangeable, untreated. But as the accomplishment of our objects cannot be attained except through some specific form, thou art termed by us Krishna, Achyuta, Ananta, or Vishnu. Thou, unborn divinity, art all the objects of these impersonations; thou art the gods, and all other beings; thou art the whole world; thou art all. Soul of the universe, thou art exempt from change, and there is nothing except thee in all this existence. Thou art Brahma, Pasupati, aryaman, Dhatri, and Vidhatri; thou art Indra, air, fire, the regent of the waters, the god of wealth, and judge of the dead; and thou, although but one, presidest over the world with various energies, addressed to
vp.5.20 world. That, for the punishment of the rebellious, thou hast descended upon earth in my house, having been propitiated by my prayers, sanctifies our race. Thou art the heart of all creatures; thou abidest in all creatures; and all that has been, or will be, emanates from thee, O universal spirit! Thou, Achyuta, who comprehendest all the gods, art eternally worshipped with sacrifices: thou art sacrifice itself, and the offerer of sacrifices. The affection that inspires my heart and the heart of Devaki towards thee, as if thou wast our child, is indeed but error, and a great delusion. How shall the tongue of a mortal such as I am call the creator of all things, who is without beginning or end, son? Is it consistent that the lord of the world, from whom the world proceeds, should be born of me, except through illusion? How should he, in whom all fixed and moveable things are contained, be conceived in the womb and born of a mortal being? Have compassion therefore indeed, O supreme lord, and in thy descended portions protect the universe. Thou art no son of mine. This whole world, from Brahma to a tree, thou art. Wherefore dost thou, who art one with the supreme, beguile us? Blinded by delusion, I thought thee my son; and for thee, who art beyond all fear, I dreaded the anger of Kansa, and therefore did I take thee in my terror to Gokula, where thou hast grown up; but I no longer claim thee as mine own. Thou, Vishnu, the sovereign lord of all, whose actions Rudra, the Maruts,
vp.5.23 properties, sound and the like; undecaying, illimitable, imperishable, subject neither to increase nor diminution: thou art that which is Brahma, without beginning or end. From thee the immortals, the progenitors, the Yakshas, Gandharbhas, and Kinnaras, the Siddhas, the nymphs of heaven, men, animals, birds, deer, reptiles, and all the;, vegetable world, proceed; and all that has been, or will be, or is now, moveable or fixed. All that is amorphous or has form, all that is subtile, gross, stable, or moveable, thou art, O creator of the world; and beside thee there is not any thing. O lord, I have been whirled round in the circle of worldly existence for ever, and have suffered the three classes of affliction, and there is no rest whatever. I have mistaken pains for pleasures, like sultry vapours for a pool of water; and their enjoyment has yielded me nothing but sorrow. The earth, dominion, forces, treasures, friends, children, wife, dependants, all the objects of sense, have I possessed, imagining them to be sources of happiness; but I found that in their changeable nature, O lord, they were nothing but vexation. The gods themselves, though high in heaven, were in need of my alliance. Where then is everlasting repose? Who without adoring thee, who art the origin of all worlds, shall attain, O supreme deity, that rest which endures for ever? Beguiled by thy delusions, and ignorant of thy nature, men, after suffering the various penalties of birth, death, and infirmity,
vp.5.30 Garuda, laden with the umbrella of Varuna and the jewel mountain, and bearing Hrishikesa on his back to the court of Indra, went lightly, as if in sport, along. When they arrived at the portals of Swarga, Hari blew his shell; on which the gods advanced to meet him, bearing respectful offerings. Having received the homage of the divinities, Krishna went to the palace of the mother of the gods, whose turrets resembled white clouds; and on beholding Aditi, paid his respects to her, along with sakra; and, presenting to her her own earrings, informed her of the destruction of the demon Naraka. The mother of the world, well pleased, then fixed her whole thoughts upon Hari, the creator, and thus pronounced his praise: Glory" to thee, O god with the lotus eyes, who removest all fear from those that worship thee. Thou art the eternal, universal, and living soul; the origin of all beings; the instigator of the mental faculty, and faculties of sense; one with the three qualities; beyond the three qualities; exempt from contraries; pure; existing in the hearts of all; void of colour, extension, and every transient modification; unaffected by the vicissitudes of birth or death, sleep or waking. Thou art evening, night, and day; earth, sky, air, water, and fire; mind, intellect, and individuality. Thou art the agent of creation, duration, and dissolution; the master over the agent; in thy forms which are called Brahma, Vishnu, and siva. Thou art gods, Yakshas, Daityas, Rakshasas,
vp.5.30 the world, originating in thy active agency. Those men who, attentive to their duties, diligently worship thee, traverse all this illusion, and obtain spiritual freedom. Brahma and all the gods, men and animals, are alike invested by the thick darkness of fascination, in the gulf of the illusions of Vishnu. That men, who having worshipped thee, should seek the gratification of their desires, and their own preservation, this, O lord, is also thy delusion. It is the sport of thy fascinations that induces men to glorify thee, to obtain thereby the continuance of their race, or the annihilation of their enemies, instead of eternal liberation. It is the fault of the impure acts of the unrighteous (to proffer such idle requests to one able to confer such more important benefits), like asking for a rag to cover one s nakedness from the tree that bestows whatever is solicited. Be propitious then, imperishable author of all the error that deceives the world; and dispel, O lord of all creatures, the conceit of knowledge, which proceeds from ignorance. Glory to thee, grasper of the discus, wielder of the bow, brandisher of the mace, holder of the shell; for such do I behold thee in thy perceptible form: nor do I know that form of thine, which is beyond perception! Have compassion on me, supreme god."
vp.5.33 this, they were satisfied; for they had imagined he had been taken away by the gods (in reprisal for the Parijata tree). Krishna therefore immediately summoned Garuda, who came with a wish; and mounting upon him, along with Bala and Pradyumna, he set off for the city of Bana. On their approach to the city they were opposed by the spirits who attend on Rudra, but these were soon destroyed by Hari, and he and his companions reached the vicinity of the town. Here mighty Fever, an emanation from Maheswara, having three feet and three heads 2, fought desperately with Vishnu in defence of Bana. Baladeva, upon whom his ashes were scattered, was seized with burning heat, and his eyelids trembled: but he obtained relief by clinging to the body of Krishna. Contending thus with the divine holder of the bow, the Fever emanating from siva was quickly expelled from the person of Krishna by Fever which he himself engendered. Brahma beholding the impersonated malady bewildered by the beating inflicted by the arms of the deity, entreated the latter to desist; and the foe of Madhu refrained, and absorbed into himself the fever he had created. The rival Fever then departed, saying to Krishna, "Those men who call to memory the combat between us shall be ever exempt from febrile disease."
vp.6.1 Parasara. Hear from me, Maitreya, exactly the circumstances of the end of all things, and the dissolution that occurs either at the expiration of a Kalpa, or that which takes place at the close of the life of Brahma. A month of mortals is a day and night of the progenitors: a year of mortals is a day and night of the gods. Twice a thousand aggregates of the four ages is a day and night of Brahma 2. The four ages are the Krita, Treta, Dwapara, and Kali; comprehending together twelve thousand years of the gods. There are infinite successions of these four ages, of a similar description, the first of which is always called the Krita, and the last the Kali. In the first, the Krita, is that age which is created by Brahma; in the last, which is the Kali age, a dissolution of the world occurs.
vp.6.3 Three different kinds of dissolution. Duration of a Pararddha. The Clepsydra, or vessel for measuring time. The dissolution that occurs at the end of a day of Brahma.
vp.6.3 THE dissolution of existing beings is of three kinds, incidental, elemental, and absolute 1. The incidental is that which relates to Brahma, and occurs at the end of a Kalpa: the elemental is that which takes place after two Pararddhas: the absolute is final liberation from existence.
vp.6.3 occurs, when all the discrete products of nature are withdrawn into their indiscrete source. The shortest period of time is a Matra, which is equal to the twinkling of the human eye. Fifteen Matras make a Kashtha; thirty Kashthas, one Kala; fifteen Kalas, one Nadika. A Nadika is ascertained by a measure of water, with a vessel made of twelve Palas and a half of copper, in the bottom of which there is to be a hole made with a tube of gold, of the weight of four Mashas, and four inches long 4. According to the Magadha measure, the vessel should hold a Prastha (or sixteen Palas) of water. Two of these Nadis make one Muhurtta; thirty of which are one day and night. Thirty such periods form a month; twelve months make a year, or a day and night of the gods; and three hundred and sixty such days constitute a year of the celestials. An aggregate of four ages contains twelve thousand divine years; and a thousand periods of four ages complete a day of Brahma. That period is also termed a Kalpa, during which fourteen Manus preside; and at the end of it occurs the incidental or Brahma dissolution. The nature of this dissolution is very fearful: hear me describe it, as well as that which takes place at the elemental dissolution, which I will also relate to you.
vp.6.4 WHEN the waters have reached the region of the seven Rishis, and the whole of the three worlds is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishnu becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years, until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed, and he of whom all things are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon sesha, in the midst of the deep. The creator, Hari, sleeps upon the ocean, in the form of Brahma glorified by Sanaka And the saints who had gone to the Janaloka, and contemplated by the holy inhabitants of Brahmaloka, anxious for final liberation involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions, and meditating on his own ineffable spirit, which is called Vasudeva. This, Maitreya, is the dissolution termed incidental, because Hari, in the form of Brahma, sleeps there, as its incidental cause.
vp.6.4 When the universal spirit wakes, the world revives; when he closes his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic slumber. In like manner as a thousand great ages constitute a day of Brahma, so his night consists of the same period; during which the world is submerged by a vast ocean. Awaking at the end of his night, the unborn, Vishnu, in the character of Brahma, creates the universe anew, in the manner formerly related to you 1.
vp.6.4 and smell, it exists unembodied and vast, and pervades the whole of space. Ether, whose characteristic property and rudiment is sound, exists alone, occupying all the vacuity of space. But then the radical element egotism devours sound, and all the elements and faculties are at once merged into their original. This primary element is consciousness, combined with the property of darkness, and is itself swallowed up by Mahat, whose characteristic property is intelligence; and earth and Mahat are the inner and outer boundaries of the universe. In this manner, as in the creation were the seven forms of nature Prakriti(), reckoned from Mahat to earth 2, so, at the time of elemental dissolution, these seven successively reenter into each other. The egg of Brahma is
vp.6.4 dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones, seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains. The investure of water is drunk up by fire: the stratum of fire is absorbed by that of air: air blends itself with ether: the primary element of egotism devours the ether, and is itself taken up by intellect, which, along with all these, is seized upon by nature Prakriti(). Equilibrium of the three properties, without excess or deficiency, is called nature Prakriti(), origin Hetu(), the chief principle Pradhana(), cause Karana(), supreme Param(). This Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete is finally lost or absorbed in the indiscrete. Spirit also, which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all pervading, is a portion of that supreme spirit which is all things. That spirit which is other than (embodied) spirit, in which there are no attributes of name, species, or the like which is one with all wisdom, and is to be understood as sole existence that is Brahma, infinite glory, supreme spirit, supreme power, Vishnu, all that is; from whence the perfect sage returns no more. Nature Prakriti(), which I have described to you as being essentially both discrete and indiscrete, and spirit (which is united with body), both resolve into supreme spirit. Supreme spirit is the upholder of all things, and the ruler of all things, and is glorified in the Vedas and in the Vedanta by the name of Vishnu.
vp.6.5 knowledge and works. Knowledge is of two kinds, that which is derived from scripture, and that which is derived from reflection. Brahma that is the word is composed of scripture; Brahma that is supreme is produced of reflection 5. Ignorance is utter darkness, in which knowledge, obtained through any sense (as that of hearing), shines like a lamp; but the knowledge that is derived from reflection breaks upon the obscurity like the sun. What has been said by Manu, when appealing to the meaning of the Vedas with respect to this subject, I will repeat to you. There are two (forms of) spirit (or god), the spirit which is the word, and the spirit which is supreme. He who is thoroughly imbued with the word of god obtains supreme spirit 6. The Atharva Veda also states that there are two kinds of knowledge; by the one, which is the supreme, god is attained; the other is that which consists of the Rich and other Vedas 7. That which is imperceptible, undecaying, inconceivable, unborn, inexhaustible, indescribable; which has neither form, nor hands, nor feet; which is almighty, omnipresent, eternal; the cause of all things, and without cause; permeating all, itself unpenetrated, and from which all things proceed; that is the object which the wise behold, that is Brahma, that is the supreme state, that is the subject of contemplation to those who desire liberation, that is the thing spoken of by the Vedas, the infinitely subtile, supreme condition of Vishnu. That essence of the
vp.6.5 supreme is defined by the term Bhagavat 8: the word Bhagavat is the denomination of that primeval and eternal god: and he who fully understands the meaning of that expression, is possessed of holy wisdom, the sum and substance of the three Vedas. The word Bhagavat is a convenient form to be used in the adoration of that supreme being, to whom no term is applicable; and therefore Bhagavat expresses that supreme spirit, which is individual, almighty, and the cause of causes of all things. The letter Bh implies the cherisher and supporter of the universe. By ga is understood the leader, impeller, or creator. The dissyllable Bhaga indicates the six properties, dominion, might, glory, splendour, wisdom, and dispassion. The purport of the letter va is that elemental spirit in which all beings exist, and which exists in all beings 9. And thus this great word Bhagavan is the name of Vasudeva, who is one with the supreme Brahma, and of no one else. This word therefore, which is the general denomination of an adorable object, is not used in reference to the supreme in a general, but a special signification. When applied to any other (thing or person) it is used in its customary or general import. In the latter case it may purport one who knows the origin and end and revolutions of beings, and what is wisdom, what ignorance. In the former it denotes wisdom, energy, power, dominion, might, glory, without end, and without defect.
vp.6.6 HE, Purushottama, is also known by holy study and devout meditation; and either, as the cause of attaining him, is entitled Brahma. From study let a man proceed to meditation, and from meditation to study 1; by perfection in both supreme spirit becomes manifest. Study is one eye wherewith to behold it, and meditation is the other: he who is one with Brahma sees not with the eye of flesh.
vp.6.7 "Then," said Khandikya, "do you, who are the chief of those versed in contemplative devotion, explain to me what that is; for in the race of the descendants of Nimi 2 you are best acquainted with the sacred writings in which it is taught." "Hear," replied Kesidhwaja, "the account of, the nature of contemplative devotion 3, which I impart to you, and by perfection in which the sage attains resolution into Brahma, and never suffers birth again. The mind of man is the cause both of his bondage and his liberation: its addiction to the objects of sense is the means of his bondage; its separation from objects of sense is the means of his freedom. The sage who is capable of discriminative knowledge must therefore restrain his mind from all the objects of sense, and therewith meditate upon the supreme being, who is one with spirit, in order to attain liberation; for that supreme spirit attracts to itself him who meditates upon it, and who is of the same nature, as the loadstone attracts the iron by the virtue which is common to itself and to its products 4.
vp.6.7 [paragraph continues] Contemplative devotion is the union with Brahma, effected by that condition of mind which has attained perfection through those exercises which complete the control of self 5: and he whose contemplative devotion is characterized by the property of such absolute perfection, is in truth a sage, expectant of final liberation from the world.
vp.6.7 must be devoid of desire, and observe invariably continence, compassion, truth, honesty, and disinterestedness: he must fix his mind intently on the supreme Brahma, practising holy study, purification, contentment, penance, and self control. These virtues, respectively termed the five acts of restraint Yana(), and five of obligation Niyama(), bestow excellent rewards when practised for the sake of reward, and eternal liberation when they are not prompted by desire (of transient benefits). Endowed with these merits, the sage self restrained should sit in one of the modes termed Bhadrasana, &c., and engage in contemplation 8. Bringing his vital airs, called Prana, under subjection, by frequent repetition, is thence called Pranayama, which is as it were a seed with a seed 9. In this the breath of expiration and that of inspiration are alternately obstructed, constituting the act twofold; and the suppression of both modes of breathing produces a third 10. The exercise of the Yogi, whilst endeavouring to bring before his thoughts the gross form of the eternal, is denominated alambana 11. He is then to perform the Pratyahara, which consists in restraining his organs of sense from susceptibility to outward impressions, and directing them entirely to mental perceptions. By these means the entire subjugation of the unsteady senses is effected; and if they are not controlled, the sage will not accomplish his devotions. When by the Pranayama the vital airs
vp.6.7 Khandikya then said to Kesidhwaja, "Illustrious sage, inform me what is that perfect asylum of the mind, resting on which it destroys all the products of (human) infirmity." To this, Kesidhwaja replied, "The asylum of mind is spirit Brahma(), which of its own nature is twofold, as being with or without form; and each of these is supreme and secondary 12. Apprehension of spirit 13, again, is threefold. I will explain the different kinds to you: they are, that which is called Brahma, that which is named from works, and that which comprehends both. That mental apprehension which consists of Brahma is one; that which is formed of works is another; and that which comprehends both is the third: so that mental apprehension (of the object or asylum of the thoughts) is threefold. Sanandana and other (perfect sages) were endowed with apprehension of the nature of Brahma. The gods and others, whether animate or inanimate, are possessed of that which regards acts. The apprehension that comprehends both works and spirit exists in Hiranyagarbha and others, who are possessed of contemplative knowledge of their own nature, and who also exercise certain active functions, as creation and the rest. Until all acts, which are the causes of notions of individuality, are discontinued, spirit is one thing, and the universe is another, to those who contemplate objects as distinct and various; but that is called true knowledge, or knowledge of Brahma, which recognises no distinctions, which
vp.6.7 undefinable by words, and is to be discovered solely in one s own spirit. That is the supreme, unborn, imperishable form of Vishnu, who is without (sensible) form, and is characterised as a condition of the supreme soul, which is variously modified from the condition of universal form. But this condition cannot be contemplated by sages in their (early) devotions, and they must therefore direct their minds to the gross form of Hari, which is of universal perceptibility. They must meditate upon him as Hiranyagarbha, as the glorious Vasava, as Prajapati, as the winds, the Vasus, the Rudras, the suns, stars, planets, Gandharbas, Yakshas, Daityas, all the gods and their progenitors, men, animals, mountains, oceans, rivers, trees, all beings, and all sources of beings, all modifications whatever of nature and its products, whether sentient or unconscious, one footed, two footed, or many footed; all these are the sensible form of Hari, to be apprehended by the three kinds of apprehension. All this universal world, this world of moving and stationary beings, is pervaded by the energy of Vishnu, who is of the nature of the supreme Brahma. This energy is either supreme, or, when it is that of conscious embodied spirit, it is secondary. Ignorance, or that which is denominated from works, is a third energy 14; by which the omnipresent energy of embodied spirit is ever excited, and whence it suffers all the pains of repeated worldly existence. Obscured by that energy (of ignorance or
vp.6.7 "The second 15 state of him who is called Vishnu, and which is to be meditated upon by the (advanced) sage, is that imperceptible, shapeless form of Brahma, which is called by the wise, That which is 16, and in which all the before described energies reside. Thence proceeds the form of the universal form, the other great form of Hari, which is the origin of those manifested forms (or incarnations) that are endowed with every kind of energy, and which, whether the forms of gods, animals, or men, are assumed by him Hari() in his sport. This active interposition of the undefinable god, all comprehending and irresistible, is for the purpose of benefiting the world, and is not the necessary consequence of works. This form of the universal form is to be meditated upon by the sage for the object of purification, as it destroys all sin. In the same manner as fire, blazing in the wind, burns dry grass, so Vishnu, seated in the heart, consumes the sins of the sage; and therefore let him resolutely effect the fixation of his mind upon that receptacle of all the three energies Vishnu(), for that is the operation of the mind which is called perfect Dharana 17: and thus the perfect asylum of individual as well as universal spirit, that which is beyond the three modes of apprehension, is attained, for the eternal emancipation of the sage. The minds of other beings, which are not fixed upon that asylum, are altogether impure, and are all the gods and the rest, who spring from acts. The
vp.6.7 "(When the Yogi has accomplished this stage, he acquires) discriminative knowledge, which is the means of enabling living soul, when all the three kinds of apprehension are destroyed, to attain the attainable supreme Brahma 22. Embodied spirit is the user of the instrument, which instrument is true knowledge; and by it that (identification) of the former (with Brahma) is attained 23. Liberation, which is the object to be effected, being accomplished, discriminative knowledge ceases. When endowed with the apprehension of the nature of the object of inquiry, then, there is no difference between it (individual and) supreme spirit: difference is the consequence of the absence of (true) knowledge. When that ignorance which is the cause of the difference between individual and universal spirit is destroyed finally and for ever, who shall ever make that distinction between them which does not exist? Thus have I, Khandikya, in reply to your question, explained to you what is meant by contemplative devotion, both fully and summarily. What else do you wish to hear?"
vp.6.8 Parasara. I have related to you this Purana, which is equal to the Vedas in sanctity, and by hearing which all faults and sins whatever are expiated. In this have been described to you the primary and secondary creation, the families of the patriarchs, the Manwantaras, the regal dynasties; the gods, Daityas, Gandharbas, serpents, Rakshasas, Yakshas, Vidyadharas, Siddhas, and heavenly nymphs; Munis endowed with spiritual wisdom, and practisers of devotion; the distinctions of the four castes, and the actions of the most eminent amongst men; holy places on the earth, holy rivers and oceans, sacred mountains, and legends of the truly wise; the duties of the different tribes, and the observances enjoined by the Vedas. By hearing this, all sins are at once obliterated. In this also the glorious Hari has been revealed, the cause of the creation, preservation, and destruction of the world; the soul of all things, and himself all things: by the repetition of whose name man is undoubtedly liberated from all sins, which fly like wolves that are frightened by a lion. The repetition of his name with devout faith is the best remover of all sins, destroying them as fire purifies the metal from the dross. The stain of the Kali age, which ensures to men sharp punishments in hell, is at once effaced by a single invocation of Hari. He who is all that is, the whole egg of Brahma, with Hiranyagarbha, Indra, Rudra, the adityas, the Aswins, the winds, the Kinnaras, the Vasus, the Sadhyas,
vp.6.8 This Purana, originally composed by the Rishi Narayana(), was communicated by Brahma to Ribhu; he related it to Priyavrata, by whom it was imparted to Bhaguri. Bhaguri recited it to Tamasitra 6, and he to Dadicha, who gave it to Saraswata. From the last Bhrigu received it, who imparted it to Purukutsa, and he taught it to Narmada. The goddess delivered it to Dhritarashtra the Naga king, and to Purana of the same race, by whom it was repeated to their monarch Vasuki. Vasuki communicated it to Vatsa, and he to aswatara, from whom it successively proceeded to Kambala and Elapatra. When the Muni Vedasiras descended to Patala, he there received the whole Purana from these Nagas, and communicated it to Pramati. Pramati consigned it to the wise Jatukarna, and he taught it to many other holy persons. Through the blessing of Vasishtha it came to my knowledge, and I have now, Maitreya, faithfully imparted it to you. You will teach it, at the end of the Kali age, to samika 7. Whoever hears this great mystery, which removes the contamination of the Kali, shall be freed from all his sins. He who hears this every day acquits himself of his daily obligations to ancestors, gods, and men. The great and rarely attainable merit that a man acquires by the gift of a brown cow, he derives from hearing ten chapters of this Purana 8. He who hears the entire Purana, contemplating in his mind Achyuta, who is all things, and of whom all things are made; who is the stay of the whole world, the
vp.6.8 in the beginning, middle, and end of which is described the glorious Achyuta, the lord of the universe in every stage, the master of all that is stationary or moveable, composed of spiritual knowledge, acquires such purity as exists not in any world, the eternal state of perfection, which is Hari. The man who fixes his mind on Vishnu goes not to hell: he who meditates upon him regards heavenly enjoyment only as an impediment: and he whose mind and soul are penetrated by him thinks little of the world of Brahma; for when present in the minds of those whose intellects are free from soil, he confers upon them eternal freedom. What marvel therefore is it that the sins of one who repeats the name of Achyuta should be wiped away? Should not that Hari be heard of, whom those devoted to acts worship with sacrifices continually as the god of sacrifice; whom those devoted to meditation contemplate as primary and secondary, composed of spirit; by obtaining whom man is not born, nor nourished, nor subjected to death; who is all that is, and that is not (or both cause and of effect); who, as the progenitors, receives the libations made to them; who, as the gods, accepts the offerings addressed to them; the glorious being who is without beginning or end; whose name is both Swaha and Swadha 9; who is the abode of all spiritual power; in whom the limits of finite things cannot be measured 10; and who, when he enters the ear, destroys all sin?

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